To the APS Board of Education;
I am writing you in the wake of recent tragedy in Minneapolis. As you know, George Floyd was murdered in cold blood by Derek Chauvin while three other MPD officers stood and were complicit during the murder. Since then, Minneapolis Public School Board of Education has unanimously decided to end its contract with Minneapolis Police Department and remove all “school resource officers” from all school campuses. I strongly believe that APS should follow suit immediately. I believe that you should move to schedule a special meeting to discuss the issue and draft a resolution. There is also a Board meeting on June 17th, 2020 at 5 pm and I strongly urge you to bring up this matter there. If there is not room on the agenda, I urge you to make room. This issue is a serious matter, regarding the lives of black students in Albuquerque. The institution of police force is built on white supremacy and silencing black votes and voices, which can date back to immediately after the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. Because of this, it is vital that the Board discusses and votes on this matter immediately. The mission statement of APS states that the Board of Education works with the superintendent and all staff to “ensure that all students succeed.” It is my strong belief that students can not succeed in any manner if they feel threatened or oppressed in their learning space. This is why police force does not belong on any school campus in Albuquerque. It has become evident that police across the nation do not exist to “serve and protect” as they state but rather to uphold unjust laws and incite violence to silence black voices.
In Minneapolis, Board Chairwomen Kim Ellison claimed that the MPD and MPS do not “have the same values.” I believe that this statement holds true for APS and APD. You have a duty to the students and families in Albuquerque to uphold the values of APS and promote a positive education experience to those students. You cannot remain innocent if you remain silent. Ignoring this issue or pushing it down is directly feeding into racism in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the United States.