WASHINGTON - As leaders around the country re-evaluate the role of law enforcement, the D.C. city council has unanimously voted to shift responsibility for school security from the police to public school officials.
Councilmember At-Large David Grosso offered up the proposal on Wednesday.
“In the wake of police killings of unarmed Black Americans, the District of Columbia, along with the rest of the nation, is re-examining the role of police in all aspects of our lives, including in our children’s schools,” said Grosso.
According to the Washington Post, the council voted to eliminate the school system’s $23 million annual contract with the police department, which finances more than 300 security guards.
The guards are hired by a private company, and managed by the police department.
According to Grosso, the arrangement with municipal law enforcement indicates that schools “are more interested in policing students” than “ensuring their academic success or supporting their mental and behavioral health.”
A number of urban school districts have elected to remove police from their facilities.
The Minneapolis, Denver and Seattle school districts are among those that have already voted to remove police from their schools.
And neighboring Prince George’s County has considered a similar move.
Police have become the focus of criticism nationwide in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis.
The incident – which was caught on camera – sparked demonstrations and protests throughout the country.
Earlier this week, D.C. lawmakers voted the cut $15 million from the police department’s budget.
Those funds will instead be diverted to social programs in the city.
Click here to read Grosso’s complete proposal.