CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – Parents, teachers and students joined a caravan protest Saturday morning to demand the divestment of the Chicago Police Department and the removal of police in schools.
The caravan protest, organized by the Chicago Teachers Union and livestreamed on Facebook, started at 10:30 a.m. at two South Side schools and convened in Gage Park for a rally that featured speeches by teachers, parents and other supports. The group then drove or walked up north, chanting and singing their demands.
CTU wants city money that goes to officers in schools to instead fund restorative justice supports, trauma services, and hundreds of desperately needed nurses, counselors and social workers.
The city spent about $33 million to fund officers in CPS schools and the police department takes up 37 percent of the city’s corporate fund, according to the city’s 2020 budget overview. Currently, 72 out of 93, or 77%, of CPS high schools have school resources officers. Local school councils at all 72 voted to keep the officers this school year.
“Those funds could instead have funded more than 65 additional sustainable community schools that provide desperately needed student services,” CTU said in a statement.