The Minneapolis Public Schools have ended their decades long relationship with the city’s police department in response to the death of George Floyd.
The school board voted unanimously at a meeting on Tuesday June 2nd to terminate MPD’s contract to use officers to provide school security.
According to the New York Post, Minneapolis Public Schools will stop any further talks with the police department, with Superintendent Ed Graff expected to come up with a new plan for school safety before the board’s next meeting on August 18.
“We cannot continue to be in partnership with an organization that has the culture of violence and racism that the Minneapolis police department has historically demonstrated,” Nelson Inz, one of the school board members, said. “We have to stand in solidarity with our black students.”
While the vote does not bring justice for Floyd, “it will show that meaningful change is possible,” Nathaniel Genene, the school board’s student representative, said.
Genene said an online survey of Minneapolis students received more than 1,500 responses, and about 90% of them supported terminating the district’s contract with the police.
Public schools “cannot partner with organizations that do not see the humanity in our students”, Minneapolis school board member Josh Pauly, who helped draft the resolution, wrote on Twitter last week.
The school district “cannot align itself with [the Minneapolis police department] and claim to fight institutional racism”, Pauly added.
“It’s a very specific group of people who feel safe with police, but most black and brown children do not feel safe with police in schools,” said Jackie Byers, the executive director of the Black Organizing Project, which has been working since 2011 to end the use of police officers in Oakland public schools.
School districts “need to see someone step forward”, Byers said. “Folks are afraid of being the first district to do something.”