School board considering a dangerous thing

School board considering a dangerous thing

School board considering a dangerous thing

Proponents of school resource officers plan to do everything they can to prevent Chicago from removing officers from public schools.

Editor's Note: This story has been corrected after comments from Alderman Nicholas Sposato were incorrectly attributed to Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers. 

The Chicago Board of Education, which runs Chicago Public Schools (CPS), is seeking to strip Local School Councils -- made up of parents, teachers, and students -- of their power to choose whether or not to have school resource officers (SROs) at their schools.

After taking the decision away from local councils, the board will remove all officers from school grounds, according to local outlet WBEZ.

A school resource officer is a sworn law-enforcement officer with arrest powers who works, either full or part time, in a school setting.

Canady, Mo (NASRO) Canady

Mo Canady is a former SRO who now serves as executive director for the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), which advocates for carefully selected and specifically trained SROs. He says schools need these officials on their campuses.

"Anytime we remove protectors from our schools this day in time, that's always a massive risk," he warns. "We've seen this play out in other school districts across the country."

Alderman Nicholas Sposato, who represents Chicago's 38th Ward, tells AFN he can think of no good reason to remove SROs from their posts other than insanity. 

"You're not dealing with people that have common sense," Sposato laments. "Basically, these people don't know what they're doing. They're a bunch of commie loons. They think that the po-po are bad to kids and it's too traumatic for a kid in school to see a police officer there."

The hope, however, is that the Chicago Board of Education realizes the risks and retracts this proposal.

"My sources tell me they're avoiding me like I got the plague, but we'll see," Sposato adds. "I'll give them the rest of this week."

Though no decision has been declared yet, Sposato says he has been told there will be no School Resource Officers next year. He has pledge to keep that from happening.

Sposato, Nicholas (Chicago alderman) Sposato

"It is a dangerous and reckless thing to do," the alderman asserts. "I'm not a lone ranger on this; I have many of my colleagues, many of my black and Hispanic colleagues mostly that are really upset about this."

He is also trying to get a meeting with the Board of Education but says they seem to be avoiding him.

"I hate the word demand, but we're kind of demanding a meeting to discuss this issue," Sposato has said.

The Chicago Board of Education is expected to vote on the measure this summer but could vote as early as January 25 on whether to keep the officers. According to the Chicago Police Department's city-wide statistics for 2023, the Windy City saw almost 11,000 more crime complaints (a 16% increase) than in 2022.