On Tuesday, the Minneapolis Board of Education voted unanimously to dissolve the district’s contract with MPD, which supplied school resource officers at schools, CNN reports.
“George Floyd died on the street slowly and deliberately strangled and our children watched,” Jenny Arenson, vice chair of the board, said during the virtual meeting. She added, “Minneapolis police, individual officers and the city have work to do. And until they demonstrate they have done that work, we need to separate our relationship.”
This is a major decision, particularly since the school district spent $1 million on school resource officers in the last budget, according to Forbes.
The decision arrives after the University of Minnesota’s, which also chose to “no longer contract with the Minneapolis Police Department for additional law enforcement support.” The college also announced that it wouldn’t use police for major events, like football games.
Ed Graff, superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools, tweeted that the Minneapolis School Board is “preparing a plan that will support the safety of MPS students & staff in the coming school year” by Aug. 18.
Even though the contract has been terminated, the police department will still “work in cooperation with the Minneapolis Public Schools regarding safety and security issues,” MPD Deputy Chief Erick Fors said in a statement to CNN.
He continued, “The relationships that were built were impactful not only for the students and staff, but for the officers who had a calling to work with our youth through mentorship and engagement.”
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is also looking to end its relationship with the police department. The board’s agenda for Wednesday read, “Recent actions by the Minneapolis Department in the Minneapolis Police Department in the alleged murder of George Floyd while in police custody have severely undermined community trust in, and sense of safety around, Minneapolis Police.”
The board added, “This severe undermining of trust and safety by Minneapolis Police does not support the Mission of the MRPB and has no place in our parks.” The Park and Recreation Board will vote to redesign park police officer uniforms so that it doesn’t resemble the city police design.
Following George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other murders by the police, and the ensuing protests, school districts are under pressure to sever contracts with local police departments, including Charlottesville, Virginia and Denver, Colorado. Students at Ohio State University and University of Illinois are also pushing the universities to do the same.