SEATTLE, WA — Following similar moves across the country in the wake of protests against police brutality and systemic racism, the Seattle school board has decided to end a partnership with the Seattle Police District that stations armed police officers on campus indefinitely.
“It gives me a little bit of concern and I wonder what is the message that my relatives are getting from seeing police in their school,” said Devin Kabanela, senior project manager, Seattle public schools.
Instead, school board members are proposing to use unarmed police officers for security at district events. It also directs the superintendent to create a Black studies curriculum.
Leading up to the school board’s decision, some students found ways to make their voices heard — walking out of their online classes to take pictures of their signs and posting them on social media with the hashtag students have had enough.
Petitions were also created calling for systemic change.
One petition by the student-led organization ‘Black and Brown Minds Matter’ gathered over 20,000 signatures.
Under the proposal, the Seattle police will still render services for public schools when violent crimes are involved.
Other school districts in the state of Washington and across the country are also considering removing armed police officers on campus, and use funding for that program to find ways to improve the overall well-being of students — especially in this time of pandemic.