CPS responds to Black Lives Matter call to remove police from schools

Black Lives Matter want police OUT of the schools

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Black Lives Matter of Cincinnati will be part of the "CPD out of CPS Campaign" this weekend to scrap all police from all Cincinnati Public Schools.

"We believe schools…, especially for people of color and poor neighborhoods, resemble more of a prison then places of education," said Mario Martone, who is a member of the group. Martone said the group is also against "Zero Tolerance" policies.

"The CPD out of CPS Campaign is presenting a teach-in on the school-to-prison pipeline," a local Black Lives Matter chapter's Facebook call-to-action read. "We believe schools should be a place of liberation geared toward disrupting the status quo rather than an engine for maintaining it."

BLM's event to call for the removal of officers from schools will be held 3-6 p.m. Saturday at Beloved Community Church, 3846 Montgomery Rd.

Police often serve as a security force in schools that have issues with violence and other crime.

In a statement Thursday morning, a spokeswoman for Cincinnati Public Schools indicated the district will not remove officers from its buildings.

"Cincinnati Public Schools has a long and valuable partnership with the Cincinnati Police Department, including the School Resource Officers program in our schools," wrote Janet Walsh.

"The SRO program is focused on building positive relationships with students designed to help keep them -- and their communities -- safe. The officers' commitment to the success of CPS students often also extends to many "off-hours" activities such as providing donations for needy families, running summer camps, and tutoring in programs to build early literacy skills, including one that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch highlighted in a visit to Cincinnati in 2015."

Not all Black Lives Matter allies agree with removing that safety elements.

"While I would agree with the goal of ending the school to prison pipeline, I do not understand how removing CPD who is there for the safety and protection of all would assist in the effort. Community leader Bishop Bobby Hilton said. "CPD was in CPS when I graduated forty years ago.  How one looks at a law enforcement and how law enforcement carries their self-matters."

Sgt. Dan Hils who is president of the Fraternal Order of Police for Cincinnati Police gave a strong response.

He said, "Black Lives Matters again show they don't really care about black lives, they care about political noise and agendas."

Hils added, "The police officers that work in Cincinnati Public Schools are committed professionals that love the kids they work with. Black Lives Matter is rarely heard from with the dozens of homicides which occur in our city each year.  They only speak up when police use force or when they have a silly agenda such as this one."

Hils sees CPD's role as critical for the safety of certain schools in the city. He believes the positive relationship between officers and students is critical.

"The officers that work with the children and teens in CPS prove each day that they care about all lives.  They should be commended, not removed from their post," Hils said.

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