SF Board of Education Passes Resolution to Focus on Safety While Minimizing Police Presence at Schools
San Francisco (June 24, 2020) - In alignment with a national call for police reform, the San Francisco Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday night in support of minimizing the presence of law enforcement on San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) school campuses and directed the Superintendent to work with the community to revise its district safety plan.
The resolution, “In Support of Black Lives in SFUSD and the Abolition of Armed Law Enforcement in Schools #BlackLivesMatter #DefundThePolice #InvestInCommunities #BlackMindsMatter,” was authored by Commissioners Alison M. Collins and Jenny Lam, Board President Mark Sanchez, and Kevine Boggess of Coleman Advocates.
“Many of the incidents that resulted in students being introduced into the criminal justice system at a young age could have been more effectively addressed by school personnel, restorative practices, or other community-based services. We need to acknowledge our own responsibility to manage staff interactions with students, and also set clear policies to support safety,” Commissioner Collins said. “With this resolution, we are declaring schools a sanctuary space from law enforcement so that we can continue to create safe, healthy, and equitable schools for all SFUSD students.”
The resolution calls on support from the City to set policies that align with SFUSD’s goal of protecting youth and families from unnecessary contact with police, such as by investing in Community School Coordinators who can serve as a mechanism for bringing more resources in schools. The resolution also calls on the City to support community and City partners by reinvesting funds currently used for policing and investing those resources into youth development, mentoring, community-based violence prevention, and other social services.
The resolution directs SFUSD to not renew its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), which expired in 2019. Unlike several other large school districts in California, SFUSD does not pay for a police force on school campuses. Per the MOU, SFUSD does contribute nearly $46,000 annually, 20% of the police captain’s salary who supports SFPD School Resource Officers.
Staff are directed to do everything legally possible to protect children from witnessing or being subject to engagement with federal, state or local law enforcement on school grounds. In the event law enforcement is needed on school grounds, interactions will be limited as much as possible to only adult staff. If students are involved, law enforcement will only be involved after parents/caregivers and the Public Defender's office are notified.
Per the resolution, the Board also directed the Superintendent to lead a process, with parent and community input, to revise the District School Safety Plan to minimize reliance on law enforcement to handle school conflicts at school sites.
Read the full resolution here.