Minneapolis school board, teacher union call on district to cut ties with police
The Minneapolis Public School Board on Friday wrote a resolution to cut ties with the city’s Police Department in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
The district’s current budget puts over $1 million toward funding 11 school resource officers in the district’s buildings. School Board Chair Kim Ellison said she wants to end that contract because she can no longer trust the city police department’s values.
“It’s just gotten to the point where I don’t think in good conscience I can give another dime to the Minneapolis Police Department. It’s an agency that’s not correcting its mistakes,” Ellison said.
In his letter to members of the school district on Friday, Superintendent Ed Graff vowed to “do more to teach history that is inclusive and nuanced,” and to “ensure our policies and practices don’t perpetuate harm, especially to a child of color.”
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Ellison said she and other board members have been receiving calls and emails from families and students who say they don’t feel safe with officers in school buildings.
The board is set to vote on the matter June 2.
The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers has also called for the district to cut ties with the police department.
In a statement, Greta Callahan, president-elect of the teachers' chapter of the federation and Shaun Laden, the president of the chapter of education support professionals in the district said:
“The officers of the Minneapolis Police Department have demonstrated they do not share that value with the educators, families, or students of Minneapolis. We call on the district to sever all financial ties with department, including school resource officers. Instead, our district should spend its money on people who can meet the needs of our students, including providers of mental health supports and education support professionals.”
The move to sever ties with the Police Department comes days after the University of Minnesota took similar actions.
In a letter, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel on Wednesday said she asked institution leadership to no longer contract with the Minneapolis Police Department to employ officers at sporting events, concerts and ceremonies.