The San Francisco Unified School District’s decision comes amid a national movement to eliminate law enforcement from schools. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

School board approves making SF schools police-free

Under the resolution, SFUSD will not renew its memorandum of understanding with the San Francisco Police Department

Amid a national movement to eliminate law enforcement from schools, the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday night voted unanimously to declare the city’s public schools to be police-free.

Under the resolution, SFUSD will not renew its memorandum of understanding with the San Francisco Police Department and will deem its schools sanctuary spaces from law enforcement.

The resolution also directs staff and Superintendent Vincent Matthews to not cooperate or facilitate in the criminalization of a student, their family member or staff on campus by state, federal and local law enforcement agencies. Additionally, armed officers won’t be allowed on school grounds.

The resolution also directs that Superintendent Matthews reallocate funds previously used to pay law enforcement toward student support services, and requests that the San Francisco Police Commission create a protocol for officers that outlines what calls for service to respond to and ways to engage with students and parents.

“We did it!” Board Commissioner Alison Collins said via Twitter. She added, “But we still need all of your continued advocacy to ensure we have support for funding whole community schools and community-based violence prevention.”

The San Francisco-based organization Coleman Advocates called the board’s decision “an important step in ending the policing of black students in SF.”

Traditionally, the district has relied on SFPD School Resource Officers who provide security, conflict mediation and truancy prevention, among other services, at its schools.

In response to the board’s vote, police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak said in an email, “The department has not made any decisions regarding the SRO program. We look forward to having conversations with Superintendent Matthews regarding how we implement a thoughtful transition.”

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