Denver’s public school system is officially ending its relationship with the Denver Police Department. The district’s school board voted unanimously this week to remove police from all schools by next year in order to undo the systemic racism that Black children.
The Board of Education’s decision to terminate its contract with the Denver Police Department comes amid weeks of protests against police brutality, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The district plans to phase police out of schools gradually, removing all officers by June 2021.
A $720,000 contract with the city’s police provided schools 18 school resource officers last year, according to the non-profit new organization Chalkbeat. Moving forward, Denver Public Schools will rely on 100 private security officers, both armed and unarmed.
Denver Public Schools is deeply committed to affirming the lives of our students and has been changing our institutional culture to align with that commitment and undo the normalization of inferiority and bias, the district wrote in its decision Thursday.
In the decision, Denver Public Schools noted that students were ticketed or arrested by police officers while at school at least 4,540 times from the 2014-15 school year through the 2018-19 school year.
The vast majority of those students said, were black or Latinx, ages 10 to 15, thereby introducing them to the criminal justice system and often inflicting institutional trauma.
The district said the majority of those cases could have been handled by school personnel without police interference.