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Minneapolis schools end contract with MPD for school resource officers

School leaders must decide on an alternative protection plan by mid-August.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis Public Schools board has voted to terminate its contract with the Minneapolis Police Department.

MPD provided school resource officers to Minneapolis schools.

The decision follows the MPD-involved death of George Floyd, and an announcement Tuesday of a civil rights charge and investigation into MPD policies and practices by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

"We must take all actions within our power to stop systems of oppression. For the MPS School Board, that means discontinuing our contractual relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department," Board Chair Kim Ellison said in a statement.

School leaders now must decide on an alternative plan for protecting students and school buildings by mid-August.

"My leadership team and I are committed to preparing a plan that will support the safety of MPS students and staff in the coming school year by the Board resolution’s August 18, 2020, deadline," superintendent Ed Graff said in a statement. "We look forward to engaging students, staff and families in this process over the summer."

The 2020-21 school year is scheduled to begin on September 8, barring any additional distance learning extensions tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday the Minneapolis Police Department shared a statement reacting to the board's decision. 

"The Minneapolis Police Department appreciated the opportunity to provide years of service to the Minneapolis Public Schools through the School Resource Officer (SRO) program," said Deputy Chief Erick Fors in a written statement. "The relationships that were built were impactful not only for the students and staff, but for the officers who had a calling to work with our youth through mentorship and engagement.  We will continue to work in cooperation with the Minneapolis Public Schools regarding safety and security issues.”

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