June 15, 2020
Contact: Alma López, Brown Issues, (209) 914-5022


SACRAMENTO, CA — Over the past three years, students, parents, and community organizations have advocated to end the school-to-prison-to-deportation pipeline in our Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) by terminating the District’s contract with law enforcement and instituting an Alternative Safety Plan.

SCUSD has spent millions of dollars to fund a contract with the Sacramento Police Department to place School Resource Officers (SROs) on school campuses. While there is no reliable research that shows significant benefits from SROs, there are a number of studies that describe how a regular police presence in schools results in more student arrests and citations for non-violent offenses that would otherwise be addressed by school personnel, disproportionately impacting students of color and students with disabilities. Sacramento students, parents, and community members have shared countless personal stories and national data about the negative implications that police presence in schools has on students of color and have urged the district to invest in academic and mental health counselors, social workers, bilingual staff, and student supports, not more cops.

At a time when SCUSD is facing enormous budget cuts that will deeply impact our children’s education, we cannot prioritize unnecessary spending on law enforcement over protecting these supportive staff positions.

Neither SCUSD nor Sacramento PD were able to provide data on School Resource Officers’ interactions with students; the number and grounds of citations as well as campus arrests by race, ethnicity, gender, and special education. Concerns by parents and community members have been raised at community workshops and Board meetings about police officers violating students’ rights and not advising parents before an interaction with students takes place.

This month, the modified contract between SCUSD and Sacramento PD ends.

We appreciate Board Members Mai Vang and Leticia Garcia taking a stance on this and calling for the end of the contract in their letter published in the Sacramento Bee last Saturday and we insist that Superintendent Jorge Aguilar and the rest of the School Board Members make a public pledge to end future contracts with law enforcement and have school sites – led by students, parents, teachers, and community – decide on how to allocate the use of those safety funds, as part of an Alternative Safety Plan. We also ask that the Board members make a public pledge to not take any money from police unions for their political campaigns as a stance against institutional racism.

The use of education funds to pay law enforcement to police our children and our schools is a racist policy that needs to end. We urge the district to implement anti-racist policies that increase racial equity for our students to thrive personally and academically.

Following the brutal murder and torture of George Floyd, the Minneapolis public school board voted to terminate its contract with police, stating that the school district cannot align itself with the police department and claim to fight institutional racism.

The Superintendent of Portland public schools is discontinuing the regular presence of resource officers and proposing investments in direct student support including social workers, counselors, cultural specific partnerships and more.

Denver school board member Tay Anderson, also called for an end to the Denver Public Schools contract with the Denver Police Department and announced that the district’s goal is to bring full-time nurses, counselors, and restorative practices.

We are deeply saddened and distraught by the murder of George Floyd and that it has taken this far for elected officials to take action on ending racist policies.

The community coalition of Brown Issues, Black Parallel School Board, Blacks Making a Difference, Hmong Innovating Politics, Sacramento Area Congregations Together, Self Awareness & Recovery, Public Advocates, Sacramento City Teachers Association, and the Cooper-Woodson College Enhancement program demand that Superintendent Aguilar and the Board make a public pledge to end future contracts with law enforcement; design and implement an Alternative Safety Plan with students, parents, teachers, and community for the school year 2020-2021; and the Board make a pledge to not take any money from police unions for their political campaigns as a stance against institutional racism.

A press conference will be held by students and community members on Tuesday, June 16, at 9:00am in front of the Sacramento City Unified School District office – 5735 47th Ave, Sacramento, CA 95824.


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