The following are tweets from last night’s San Leandro School Board meeting, made by parent Mia Ousley (@Mia4Council), who is currently running for City Council District 5. The SLPD applied for a $500K COPS grant to put four resource officers in San Leandro schools. In return, the district would have to pay $1.7 million dollars, and cut programs accordingly. In addition to the people quoted below, several other parents and several teachers/counselors/nurses also spoke out against accepting the grant. The student trustee – who does not get a vote – did so as well. Only Board members Diana Prola and Ron Carey spoke in favor (but see comment below).
Any parent who is concerned about using education money to fund police officers and/or has an opinion on what educational programs should be cut/not restored in order to pay for them, should speak out at the Nov. 18th School Board meeting and e-mail the Board.
For more information please e-mail School Board member Mike Katz-Lacabe: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tweets from the School Board meeting
Evelyn Gonzalez approves of School Resource Officers, just asks for city to foot most of the bill.
Jessica Sievert – Mom of kindergardener, our work is to help change trajectory of at-risk youth so we don’t need police in schools.
Feels district is being forced to pay, district’s hand is being twisted. Feels politically inappropriate way to allocate money.
Any funding for students should not be pulled from other education resources to fund this.
Cynthia Chandler — Letter from district said Bancroft so deficient that parents have right to transfer out of district, so why spend money on police rather than on getting resources needed in classrooms and for teachers.
Liz Torres – 3 kids in 3rd, 6th, and 12th grade. We need safety and resources in schools, not more police.
$1.69 million should go to programs that uplift and inspire our children and prevent violence, not react to it.
Policing campuses is wrong direction and is misuse of our funds. After-school programs are what we need more of, what helps kids.
[School Board Trustee] Mike Katz-Lacabe – We have 1.8 nurses for 8800 students, this will prevent us from restoring cuts made in the past.
Doesn’t want to establish a precedent for the district funding SROs, outstanding Cathy Pickard notwithstanding.
Yet to see data showing SROs increase safety. Anecdotes are not evidence.
How many of our students get arrested instead of receiving school discipline and what is their racial make-up? We (the school board) should NOT approve this grant.
[Mia Ousley‘s] own statement — do not accept this grant because: (1) $$ needed for counselors, after-school programs, supplies, etc. – not police
(2) Hiring police to do job of counselors is harmful to students, and expensive to district.
(3) $1.7 million over 4 years is $106,250/year/officer . . . seems we’re paying MOST of their cost, not just some.
(4) Police shouldn’t help run student groups or after school programs, as the grant requires.
(5) Adding police to schools sends message that we expect kids to get into trouble.
(6) District should instead be teaching non-violent communication, implementing restorative justice, and hiring trained counselors.
And finally (7) It’s shameful this issue didn’t come before parents BEFORE SLPD applied for grant & BEFORE City Council voted on it.
Motion tabled ’til Nov. 18 meeting. Board President [Lance James] wants to give supporters a chance for public input to counter tonight’s public speakers.
Trustee Diana Prola only one to vote NO on tabling, saying “We need to have the cojones to vote the way we think.”
My opponent for City Council [Corina Lopez] was the only Trustee not to speak on the issue at all; perhaps she didn’t want to say anything controversial?