Call for Police Free Schools in PSUSD

Call for Police Free Schools in PSUSD

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In light of recent social unrest regarding high instances of police violence in black communities, we formally request the PSUSD Superintendent and Board of Education members to follow in the footsteps of Minneapolis and Portland Public Schools to immediately terminate their contract with Law Enforcement School Resource Officers within our schools. 

In reference to accountability measures set forth in the PSUSD Local Control Accountability Plan that specifically states: “Palm Springs Unified School District will provide students with a clean, healthy, physically and emotionally safe learning environment,” we ask that you consider the impact that police presence has on the safety and emotional well-being of students of color, especially our black youth. Dr. Lyon recently shared a statement expressing solidarity with our youth to “eliminate any barriers that could prevent our students from succeeding and reaching their full potential.” Our communities hold our local districts accountable to ensure we achieve this goal of eliminating those barriers.

It is for these reasons we urge board members and Superintendent Dr. Lyon, to take direct action in protecting and uplifting our students of color by eliminating law enforcement involvement. According to the Annual Update report for LCAP year 2019-20, PSUSD allocated a combined $1.7 million to Campus Safety and Security and School Resource Officers in its review of the 2018-19 budget. PSUSD should set the example for other school districts to re-allocate resources to expand holistic learning environments. PSUSD should commit to dismantling the punitive infrastructure of our current school system by shifting their approach to behavioral challenges in schools. PSUSD should invest in transformative justice measures that increase counseling and mental health services to students and families and require training for teachers to apply restorative justice strategies in their classrooms. PSUSD should begin the process towards applying those sustainable student support models rather than criminalizing undesirable behavior. We must look to the future of police free public schools if we are truly committed to providing equitable opportunities for student achievement. Fund the health and development of our students, not the police.