Letter for CCS to End Partnership With the Columbus Police Department
Please read through the letter below and fill out the form to have your name be added in solidarity
Statement on the Brutality Exhibited by the Columbus Police Department against the Black Community and Columbus Protesters
Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dickson, Internal Auditor Carolyn Smith, Treasurer Stan Bahorek, Board President Jennifer Adair, Board Vice President Ramona R. Reyes, Board Member Michael Cole, Board Member Eric S. Brown, Board Member James Ragland, Board Member Dr. Tina D. Pierce, Board Member Carol Beckerle,
June 5, 2020
As Columbus City Schools alumni and students, family members of current Columbus City Schools students, and concerned community members, we write to you in overwhelming sadness and anger over the great despair of our nation. Eleven days ago, members of the Minneapolis Police Department were captured on video brutally murdering George Floyd by asphyxiation. George Floyd was known as a loving father and a man that honored his community. Regretfully, his legacy has been reduced to one single moment–that in which he pleads for his life. It is all the more horrifying given that the very same pleas were made six years ago by Eric Garner as he, too, like many other unarmed Black individuals, was murdered at the hands of the police. We stand in solidarity with the residents of Minneapolis and those who are mourning and protesting across the nation. We commend those who are fighting from within the educational system including the local student leaders of Ohio State University and the Minneapolis Public School district that has voted unanimously to terminate their contracts with the police. It is time for Columbus City Schools to do the same. This insidious trend of Black lives being mishandled and robbed by the police state must cease and Columbus City Schools has an essential role to play in its end.
In Columbus, Ohio, peaceful protests began on May 26 in solidarity with the people of Minneapolis and in opposition to our own police department’s continual racism. Since then, we have consistently witnessed the Columbus Police Department’s awful force on peaceful protesters, including against congresswoman Joyce Beatty. Protestors are being sprayed with unknown chemical agents, maced, and are being shot with wooden bullets in a way that flouts protocol and can cause severe, even lethal, damage to the skull. The Columbus Police Department has shown us time and time again that they will use unreasonable force to injure the lives of those protesting. Such brutality, unfortunately, is not limited to these protests. The Columbus Police Department, which has the highest rate of killing Black people among America’s 15 largest cities, is responsible for the murders of Julius Tate Jr, Henry Green, Tyre King, and countless others.
Further, the police have consistently been filmed and reported for introducing brutality and racism into classrooms and schools nationwide. The Columbus City School District promises to “not discriminate based upon race, color, [or] national origin”, yet recent events and the history of policing both demonstrate that police departments fulfill no such promises. For the district to truly prioritize the safety of all students, they must remove every officer working for a police department which has been shown to have a “significant disparity of the use of force against minority residents” from a district where 77% of the student body is made up of minority students who are predominantly Black.
The verdict is clear: numerous studies and reports such as those published by the ACLU and Washington University Law Review agree that the presence of police officers in schools leads to little increase in safety, and consistent growth in criminalization, trauma, and surveillance of school children as young as five. Police officers have been recorded across our nation holding children in brutal chokeholds, punching them for cutting the cafeteria line, and shooting unarmed students to death. They funnel children in public schools nationwide out of classrooms and into juvenile detention centers and the criminal justice system. As the Columbus Police Department displays its use of excessive force repeatedly, and studies point to the overwhelming harm of the police in schools, the time to act is now. Imagine if the district redirected the reported 1.3 million it spent on so-called “resource” officers towards counselors, nurses, and social workers for students. What would it look like if our schools all had nurses five days a week instead of financing armed officers and asking students to go without basic medical care? As an incident in 2017 at Columbus Scioto High School showed, counselors with de-escalation training and relationships with students can prevent violence —a stark contrast to the way police regularly promote it.
As our district leaders, it is imperative that you take a stand now. A statement alone is not enough. Black bodies are being murdered senselessly by the very officers that are supposed to be in our schools protecting us. We can no longer accept their presence when they promise safety yet murder those who they claim to protect.
We, without any hesitation, demand that:
1. The Columbus City Schools District terminates contractual agreement with the Columbus Police Department for school resource officers and instead uses the funding to increase counselors, nurses, and social workers in schools.
2. The Columbus City School District releases an action plan, devised with student input, to reaffirm the commitment to Black Lives in their district.
3. The Columbus City Schools District ceases to dispatch police officers for all school-related events and limits communication with the Columbus Police Department except in the case of an emergency, which will be strictly defined, such as extreme acts of violence as in the case of a school shooting.
We ask that you provide a public and private response within 72 hours of the receipt, including announcing an emergency meeting open to the public set sometime in the next week and releasing a statement condemning the violence of the Columbus Police Department and promising to re-evaluate the district's relationship with such a force.
We are no longer allowed to be complacent in this fight. Stand with your students, faculty, and parents and make a positive change today. Remember their names: Julius Tate Jr., Henry Green, Tyre King. You have the power to ensure no Columbus City School student is the next name on this list.
List of Signatories and Organizations in support in ongoing,
Click this link to view letter with current list of signatures attached
I am a (Only check one, if you are both an alumni and a teacher or parent please choose the non-alumni category and add your alumni status at the end of your signature below)
Current Student (at Columbus City Schools)
Teacher (current or former at Columbus City Schools)
Parent (or guardian)
Please fill in your signature to the corresponding box (YOU DO NOT NEED TO FILL EVERYBOX)
If you are both a teacher/parent and alumni please fill in the teacher or parent section formatted and add alumni status to the end (Full Name, Teacher at School taught at, School graduated from Alumni) EX: Julia Allwein, Teacher at Whetstone, Centennial alumna
DO NOT FILL IN EVERY BOX (if you have more than one title i.e Alum and teacher, list them all in one category i.e under teacher Julia Allwein, Teacher at Whetstone, Alumni to Fort Hayes) DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME IN EVERY CATEGORY, CHOOSE THE CATEGORY YOU CHECKED ABOVE
Current CCS Student Signature (Full Name, School, Rising Grade) EX: Julia Allwein, Columbus Alternative High School, Rising Sophomore
Alumni Signature (Full Name, School Alumni Status) EX: Julia Allwein, Columbus Alternative High School Alumna
Teacher Signature (Full Name, Teacher at School currently teaching in) Add former if applicable EX: Julia Allwein, Former Teacher at Columbus Alternative High School
Parent Signature (Full Name, Parent to student at current/former School) EX: Julia Allwein, Parent to Students at Northland and Woodward Park
Community Member Signature (Full Name, OPTIONAL: leadership role held in community) EX: Julia Allwein, Pastor
Organization (Fill in how you would like your organization name to be written on letter) EX: She Can Make a Difference YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PUT AN ORGANIZATION - If your entire organization would like to endorse this letter please email
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