Organizers and community members continue to pressure the school board as it HAS NOT said it will permanently remove CPD presence nor made a commitment to implement transformative justice alternatives in schools.
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In response to sustained pressure from students, parents, alumni, teachers, employees, and community members, the Columbus City School Board opted to let their contract with the Columbus Police Department expire without the usual renewal. That contract expired on June 30, which has led to the recent announcement that CPD is “abolishing” 22 officers from Columbus Public Schools.

“While the School Board has taken an important first step by reevaluating the practice of stationing armed police in our schools, there is still much work to be done.” said Monica, a lead organizer of CPD out of CCS and graduate of CCS, “Abolition is not simply the removal of harmful forces, it is the continual process of creation for the betterment of our community.”

Rahma Abdullahi, an alumna of Whetstone High School, asks that community members keep up the pressure and continue demanding tangible action and policy change from the Columbus City School Board. “No matter how CPD or the news tries to spin this, it’s not a complete victory for students. Officers are being temporarily reassigned while the working group is established. No final decision for the 2020-21 school year or beyond has been made.”

CPD out of CCS, a coalition composed of alumni and students, has been a key player in CCS’s decision to re-evaluate their relationship with CPD. The organization aims to tackle the school-to-prison pipeline by calling for a permanent end of the partnership between CCS and the CPD through direct action, social media pressure campaigns, and relational organizing. They remain steadfast in their demands, originally presented in a letter signed by over 3,500+ people, for CCS to remove officers completely from schools and all related district events, as well as create a plan to affirm the value of Black lives in the district. “Despite the CPD’s statement announcing the ‘abolition’ of SRO’s, our demands have not been achieved” says Julia Allwein, organizer of CPD out of CCS and graduate of Columbus Alternative High School “Further, we do not define our success by statements released by the CPD but by real tangible improvements in student safety.”

“Though this announcement is exciting, it is just that, a mere announcement. We need the Columbus Board of Education to implement immediate changes in their school dynamics for the betterment of all students” said Kanyinsola Oye, a lead organizer of CPD out of CCS and graduate of Columbus Alternative High School.