SEATTLE — Seattle Public Schools announced a one-year suspension of the district's partnership with police, which includes removing officers from schools.
The announcement comes amid local and national demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd, the handcuffed black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police, and after district Superintendent Denise Juneau learned that Seattle police and the National Guard used district property as a staging area in response to protests.
"[Seattle Public Schools] did not give permission, nor condone the use of our property for staging militarized police or military personnel or vehicles," Juneau wrote in a letter to the community. "I have contacted [Seattle police] and informed them they may not use our space in this way and have been assured it will not happen again."
Juneau said the district "must ensure that SPD's values and actions are in alignment with our strategic plan, Seattle Excellence, as well as our values as an organization."
The district shared this message Wednesday: "We will re-evaluate our relationship with SPD, but like any other organization that supports our students, they must be aligned to our strategic plan, and work to uphold the inherent brilliance and innocence in each of our students."
The one-year suspension includes the "SPD School Emphasis Officers and School Resource Officer," according to this tweet.
Gwendolyn Jimerson, of the Seattle Education Association, which represents the district's teachers and other education professionals, said the union encourages the move.
“The message that we want to send to our black, our indigenous and our people of color students are that we are here, we are there and that we're support them and their fears and their anxieties around the police. We have educators who are not really feeling comfortable around police, in general, so we want people to know that we see what's going on now.”
The educators' union also issued an official statement on Facebook.
Seattle police officers will be allowed on campuses during emergencies.