PLAYERS COALITION CALLS FOR REMOVAL OF OAKLAND POLICE FROM K-12 SCHOOLS
New York – Today, Players Coalition sent a letter to the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Board of Education urging the removal of police from K-12 schools.
In response to the local, national and international demands for justice by ending Anti-Black racism and policing practices, OUSD Directors Shanthi Gonzales and Roseann Torres introduced the George Floyd Resolution, supporting efforts of the Black Organizing Project (BOP).
Signers of the letter include Tyson Ross (San Francisco Giants), Marcus Semien (Oakland Athletics), Eric Frampton (former NFL player) and Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors).
The Oakland Unified School District employs its own police force, which includes both sworn officers and non-sworn employees such as school safety officers. The proposed resolution would eliminate the Department and the sworn officers. It would direct the Superintendent to reallocate funds previously used for sworn police officers toward student support positions such as school-based social workers, psychologists, restorative justice practitioners, or other mental or behavioral health professionals, as the budget supports, to meet the needs of students. It would also direct the Superintendent to launch, by no later than July 17, 2020, an inclusive, community-driven process – involving parents, students, teachers, school administrators, student support staff, the Black Organizing Project, and other community partners – for completing a revised District safety plan with strategies for enhancing student learning, safety, and well-being within the District.
“In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, we have seen a nationwide call for police reforms at all levels. This is particularly true with school based policing efforts, which have shown to involve a disproportionate number of Black and minority youth,” said Bruce Kittle, Players Coalition Supporter, Former Assistant Football Coach at University of Oklahoma & University of Iowa and Former Director of the Restorative Justice Project at the University of Wisconsin Law School. “In the midst of these reform efforts there is a push for a more restorative response to school disciplinary situations, one that holds people accountable while building community and repairing harm. There is no better time for Oakland activists to put pressure on the Oakland School Board to eliminate the district’s internal police force. Now is the time for the Oakland School Board to be held accountable and to act now in adopting the proposed reforms.”
Over the past 8 years, Black Organizing Project has provided the District with abundant data demonstrating the disproportionate harms of the school-to-prison pipeline on students and families of color. They have organized students, families and community members to provide OUSD officials with countless personal testimonies and feedback from community forums about the harms we face because of police in our schools.
This letter (attached) was signed by the following current and former NFL, NBA & MLB players and coaches:
About Players Coalition
Players Coalition is an independent 501(c)(3) (charity) and 501(c)(4) (advocacy) organization, working with professional athletes, coaches and owners across leagues to improve social justice and racial equality in our country.
This post is based on a press release from Players Coalition to Zennie62Media.
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