St. Paul Public Schools to end contract with police department

The decision means an end to the school resource officer program.
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St. Paul Public Schools voted to end its relationship with the city’s police department Tuesday, a move which will eliminate officers in high schools.

St. Paul’s school board voted 5-1 to end its contract with the St. Paul Police Department. The move comes after the killing of George Floyd prompted Minneapolis Public Schools to make a similar decision.

By ending its contract with SPPD, the district will end its School Resource Officer Program, which comprises of seven offices in the district’s five high schools. The SRO program is a one-year contract, meaning the district will let the existing one expire at the end of the month without renewing it.

In 2017-2018, a contract for seven SROs was more than $797,000.

According to Sahan Journal, St. Paul students and alumni held a rally Monday in support of removing officers from schools.

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This isn’t the first time students have opposed SROs in their schools. According to the Pioneer Press, students at Central High School marched out in 2016 over what they saw as mistreatment of students by SROs.

Earlier this month, Minneapolis Public Schools unanimously voted to end its contract with the Minneapolis Police Department, including its SRO program.

The University of Minnesota also announced it would scale back its relationship with MPD, while multiple businesses have said they will no longer contract MPD for security. 

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