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Minneapolis Public Schools follows lead of University of Minnesota, ends contract with Minneapolis Police Department

By Loretta VanPelt

Minneapolis, MN – Hundreds gathered outside the Davis Center, the headquarters of the Minneapolis Public Schools, June 2, rallying to end the contract with Minneapolis Police Department. It was announced last Friday that the school board drafted a resolution to do so.

Josh Pauly, who is a member of the school board, put out a statement regarding the resolution, as quoted in The Guardian, “Public schools cannot partner with organizations that do not see the humanity in our students, [and] cannot align itself with [the Minneapolis Police Department] and claim to fight institutional racism”

Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59 also support the call to end the contract with MPD.

Staff and students spoke of their experiences with ‘School Resource Officers’ (SROs) in their schools and that the money spent on officers could be better spent on counselors, social workers and support staff. A student from Washburn High spoke of the conditions at her school and that SROs do not make it safe for her to attend. George Floyd, the man who was killed May 25,was not far from the minds of folks at Davis Center. After every speaker his name was chanted.

U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar was also in attendance. She spoke of sending her children to school in Minneapolis and is herself a graduate of Edison High School. She said that Black students in the Minneapolis School District are 338 times more likely to be suspended from school.

In a unanimous vote (8-0) Minneapolis Public Schools voted to end the contract with Minneapolis Police.

This was one of many actions in the city June 2 regarding the murder of George Floyd.

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