The head of California schools said Wednesday his office is working to re-imagine the role of police officers at the state’s 10,000 public schools but that some schools would still need officers on campus to protect students' safety.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said the officers would be needed to protect students from dangers, including school shootings or bomb threats, but officers would no longer be called upon to discipline misbehaving students.
“As a former school board member, I spent four years working very closely with school resource officers,” Thurmond said. “But I’ve already seen data that shows when there’s police on campus, this results in more suspensions and arrests, particularly for African American students and other students of color.”
Thurmond's announcement came a day after the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Board of Education voted to cut ties with city police as protests against police brutality continue across the country.
The SFUSD board voted unanimously Tuesday to end an agreement with the San Francisco Police Department involving 12 armed police officers assigned to respond to calls at schools.