Minneapolis School Board, Teacher’s Union Pressure District to End Contract with Police

State Patrol Police officers block a road on the fourth day of protests on May 29, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Protesters demand justice for George Floyd who died in police custody. - Five hundred National Guard soldiers and airmen have been deployed in the northern US cities of Minnesota and …
Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

The Minneapolis Public School Board wrote a resolution Friday to sever ties with the city’s police department following the death of George Floyd.

“The district’s current budget puts over $1 million toward funding 11 school resource officers in the district’s buildings,” according to MPR News.

However, School Board Chair Kim Ellison said she wanted to end the contract because she no longer trusted the department’s values, adding that families and students recently told her and other board members that they did not feel safe with officers inside their schools.

“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 commented.

In a statement, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers also urged the district to cut its financial ties with the police and use the funds in other ways.

The statement continued:

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 board is scheduled to vote on the resolution during a meeting Tuesday, an official notice read.

In a letter Friday, Superintendent Ed Graff said there were “no easy answers to what we are experiencing as a school community; as a Twin Cities community; as a nation.”

“What we have witnessed this week is in many ways analogous to the release valve on a pressure cooker,” he continued. “It is the manifestation of decades of systemic racism, oppression and disenfranchisement. Only time will tell if there will be beauty from the ashes.”

President Trump said Friday that Floyd’s death was a “terrible insult” to police officers all over the nation.

“We all have to say, and I think most people would admit, that most of the policemen and women that I’ve seen have been outstanding,” he noted, adding that he supported peaceful protests in Floyd’s memory but the rioting got out of hand.

“Yeah, you had a lot of people out there that were protesting out of sorrow, and then you had people that got out of control. Some people. I think they did a great disservice to their state and to their city and really our country, what they did last night,” he concluded.


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