CHICAGO (CBS) — A trio of aldermen plan to introduce an ordinance this week that would require the Chicago Police Department to cancel its contract with the Chicago Public Schools, and therefore remove officers from school buildings.
The “Police Free Schools Ordinance” would require CPD to terminate its $33 million contract to provide police officers as security at CPS buildings within 75 days.
“The presence of Chicago police inside of schools creates dangerous conditions for students that have led to the criminalization, mass incarceration, harassment, death, and heinous use of force against Brown and predominantly Black students,” the proposed ordinance states.
The ordinance’s sponsors — Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th), and Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) — said the money spent on police officers at schools would be better used for social services for students.
“For years parents, teachers and students have questioned why police are in schools,” Taylor said in a statement. “The trauma and harm that was done by this practice can never be erased. The money we spend on CPD in CPS can be used for a nurse, counselor, and real restorative justice programs that our students will need once returning to school.”
The ordinance’s sponsors plan to introduce it at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, but it’s unclear how much support it has from the rest of the council.
The proposal comes less than two weeks after Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she had no plans to remove police officers from the public schools.
Without the mayor’s backing, sponsors would need to gather at least 34 votes in favor of the ordinance in order to pass it with enough support to override an almost certain veto.