Oakland Unified to vote on phase 1 of George Floyd Safety Plan, outlines how officers will be removed from schools

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- On Wednesday night, the Oakland Unified School District school board will vote to adopt Phase 1 of the George Floyd Safety Plan which outlines campus safety as the district dismantles the Oakland School Police Department and removes officers from schools.

The resolution was unanimously approved by the OUSD board June 24 following nationwide protests in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

The safety plan states the more than 60 person Oakland Schools Police Department would be eliminated prior to Jan. 1, 2021 or "as soon thereafter as legally permissible."

WATCH: Oakland educators, parents explain why they want district police department eliminated
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Wednesday the Oakland Unified School Board will vote on a measure that would eliminate the school's police department.

Community organizers tell ABC7 News they have been notified there is a chance officers may stay on force through the new year.

"We fought to remove this and we got them removed on June 24 and the resolution says December 31, and that's exactly what we expect," said Jessica Black, the Black Sanctuary Director of the Black Organizing Project.

ABC7 News reached out to the school board for comment ahead of Wednesday's vote and received the following statement from spokesman John Sasaki:

"In June of this year, the OUSD Board of Education voted to take the District in a different direction and get out of the business of policing the schools. The District is well on the way to eliminating the police department, but there are parameters within which the District must work to complete this task. A police department, even one the relatively small size of Oakland School Police Department, cannot be shut down overnight. Throughout this process, we have been working closely with the Black Organizing Project (BOP), who has provided outstanding community leadership and advocacy on the issue of policing in Oakland. We look forward to continuing to work with BOP and the community as we implement our new safety plan, and our students return to campus as we all move beyond the pandemic in the coming months."

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The Oakland Unified School District will discuss changes to police services at Wednesday evening's school board meeting.

OUSD ignored ABC7 News' requests to directly answer if the Oakland Schools Police Department would be dismantled by 2021.

Money freed up by the elimination of the police force is earmarked to fund social services that will be proactive instead of reactive and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.

"We need counselors, we need people on campuses that can de escalate stuff. We need people on campus who are building relationships with students so that some of the preventative work also happens," said Black.

Wednesday's vote on adopting Phase 1 of the George Floyd Safety Plan outlines how the district will ensure campus safety with police officers making an exit.

Phase 2 of the plan will begin in January 2021 and focus on building an anti-racist and restorative system that creates conditions conducive to learning, especially for Black and Brown students, and students with special needs.

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"It's time to take the bold step and deal with the racist structures of the school system and the institutions and take the bold brave step of starting to reverse that," said Black.

OUSD is among the only school systems in the Bay Area with its own police department. Other school systems, liked the San Francisco Unified School District, had contracts with local police departments.

SFUSD voted unanimously in the summer to end ties with the San Francisco Police Department and remove armed officers from school grounds.
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