We call on Austin schools and leadership,

to put in place policies and practices that ensure that our schools are identity safe spaces where all children, families, and staff are respected, nurtured, able to achieve, learn, grow, and are guaranteed equity and justice. As a group we insist that our school districts acknowledge, interrupt, and unravel racism in education policies and practices, engage community voices, demand and secure equitable outcomes, and ensure that everyone thrives.

Resolution: Divest from Policing

Whereas the Austin ISD board of trustees and superintendent stated on June 2, 2020 that, “We commit to ensuring our schools are safe havens where all children are respected and nurtured, where all children can achieve and grow, and where all children are guaranteed equity and justice;

Whereas it is essential for public education to divest from policing and the policies and practices that support the school to prison pipeline, and funds should be diverted to practices that support the dignity of all students;

Whereas the use of Culturally Responsive Restorative Practices, with its emphasis on community building and the inherent wholeness and value of every person, serves students and school communities better than our current punitive disciplinary system;

Whereas transparent data and regular reporting of the impact of policing and discipline on students is critical to improving outcomes; and

Whereas budgets are moral documents that demonstrate the priorities of those who enact them; now, therefore, be it

 

Resolved, That Austin ISD board of trustees does not authorize any additional School Resource Officers (SRO) or other AISD police department staff in FY2021 budget, and directs staff to freeze the hiring of any such positions;

 

Resolved, The Austin ISD board of trustees directs staff to eliminate vacant SRO positions immediately and on an ongoing basis, and to reallocate those funds to the district-wide implementation of culturally responsive restorative practices to replace traditional punitive disciplinary practices and the Austin ISD police force; 

 

Resolved, That Austin ISD and particularly the Austin ISD Police Department will practice transparency by annually publishing the Austin Police Department budget information online, including: 

  • School Resource Officers’ salaries, funds spent on surveillance, and physical hardening equipment, and 
  • the number of School Resource Officers by campus;

 

Resolved, That Austin ISD and particularly the Austin ISD Police Department will practice transparency by annually publishing the Austin Police Department policies and data information online, including: 

  • policies regarding training, use of force, weapons, and the role of SROs during at-home learning during the COVID-19 pandemic,
  • the number of SRO discipline and complaints by campus,
  • use of pepper spray, tasers, and other weapons incidences, disaggregated by race, gender, socioeconomic status, English Language Learner status, Special Education status, and grade, 
  • use of force incidents by type of force, disaggregated by race, gender, socioeconomic status, English Language Learner status, Special Education status, and grade, 
  • Class C misdemeanor complaints issued, disaggregated by race, gender, socioeconomic status, English Language Learner status, Special Education status, and grade, 
  • arrests, disaggregated by race, gender, socioeconomic status, English Language Learner status, Special Education status, and grade, 
  • referrals to juvenile probation, disaggregated by race, gender, socioeconomic status, English Language Learner status, Special Education status, and grade, 
  • reasons for police involvement, disaggregated by race, gender, socioeconomic status, English Language Learner status, Special Education status, and grade, and
  • data of SRO incidents by campus, race, and socioeconomic status so that students, families, employees and communities of Austin ISD can be meaningful partners in the safety of our schools.

 

Resolved, That the Austin ISD board of trustees develop a set of key performance indicators for the Austin ISD Police Department to address any and all disproportionate treatment of students of color and ensure department actions are not fostering the school-to-prison pipeline, and hold an annual Board Work Session to publish, review, and discuss the Austin ISD Police Department key performance indicators.

Resolved, That Austin ISD and Austin ISD Police Department electronically publish information that includes the membership, records, and notes from the School Safety and Security Committee, with a recommitment to transparency and true cooperation with students, families, employees, and community members.

Divesting from Policing — AJC’s Letter to Superintendent, Austin ISD Board, and Community Members.

As members of the Austin community, we are calling on the Austin Independent School District (AISD) to divest from school policing in the district. Austin Justice Coalition is collaborating to advocate for policies and practices that create anti-racist, equitable, physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially safe schools. 

Following several districts’ and universities’ divestment from police, we ask that you, too, prioritize the health and safety of all of our students by: 1) divesting from strategies that contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline, including excessive funding for school police departments; 2) reallocating funds to district-wide implementation of Culturally Responsive Restorative Practices; 3) publishing AISD Police Department budget information online; 4) Publishing AISD Police Department policies and data, especially Use of Force policy data online; 5) developing key performance indicators for AISD Police Department, and hosting an annual Board Work Session for status updates; 6) publishing School Safety and Security Committee information online;

(Read Full Letter…)