San Jose School District Reinstates Cops After Having Let Them Go
The San Jose school board has voted to unanimously to bring back police as security officers for after-school events.
Six weeks after the school board from San Jose Unified School District decided in a 3-2 vote to let go of its on-campus police officers, they rescinded their decision, voting unanimously to bring them back for after-school events.
The district will be able to hire San Jose Police Department (SJPD) officers as private security guards for events like football games and dances. They will not, however, patrol hallways and the campus in general. The agreement is valid through Dec. 31, reports the San Jose Spotlight.
“It’s clear to us how some in the community feel about police on campus during the school day,” said school board President Brain Wheatley. But school officials say that having them back on campus, even if just for after-school events, is necessary for the district and the city’s police force to work together.
Continued board member Wendy Mahaney-Gurahoo, “For anybody who comes on campus, there are certain rules to follow. If we don’t have an agreement with SJPD we won’t know how to respond appropriately.”
The school board’s latest decision met with plenty of opposition. Parents and students who are members of the San Jose Unified Equity Coalition, for example, have pushed for police-free campuses and fear that this arrangement will open doors for police officers to be at district schools regularly again. They say that cops do more harm than good for students, especially those who are Black, Latnix or disabled.
The new agreement clarifies that the on-campus officers remain city employees and therefore have to follow SJPD’s rules. The school board has asked district employees to continue to find ways to implement best practices for student safety without relying on campus police. The board asked employees to develop and present solutions to finalize a plan by December.
The decision comes after SJPD approved in 2019 a $1.4 million contract to have 46 SJPD offers on campus for the 2019-20 school year.