San Jose Unified votes to continue working with SJPD for campus events

Dustin Dorsey Image
Saturday, August 14, 2021
SJUSD to continue working with local police for campus events
San Jose Unified voted to re-instate their relationship with SJPD, but only for events outside of school hours.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Police representation within San Jose Unified School District has been a highly contested conversation for months.

It continues heading into the school year after the school board voted to reinstate their relationship with the San Jose Police Department for on-campus events.

When the SJUSD students return for full on-campus learning on Aug. 18, there won't be school resource officers on the middle and high school campuses.

RELATED: San Jose Unified School District will not have police on campus this school year

But in a unanimous decision by the school board Thursday, the district agreed to continue their relationship with San Jose Police outside of school hours.

"I feel like part of our job at San Jose Unified is to help ensure public safety," SJUSD School Board President Brian Wheatley said.

The district will do this by hiring San Jose Police as private security for events after school hours like football games.

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San Jose State University announced the creation of a task force on campus safety and policing to reevaluate policing on the college campus.

At some of these big events, there are hundreds of guests, many of whom are not students and staff.

Wheatley says he understands the stance many have against police on school campus, and that's why the board reaffirmed their specific definition of the role of police with SJUSD.

However, the board said the 3-2 vote and decision at their meeting is the best way to keep the community safe.

"There were people last night saying no police at all, the community can police itself," Wheatley said. "I don't see that being ready for game one of football in less than two weeks."

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Crystal Calhoun works with the San Jose United Equity Coalition, a group that helped lead the charge against school resource officers on San Jose Unified campuses.

The group's efforts ultimately led to their removal in June.

Calhoun says she is happy the SRO's will not return to campus.

But after this most recent decision, she wishes the board would stop focusing on police and start focusing on the students in the district.

"It's a minor setback," Calhoun said. "I have my grandchildren and other people's grandchildren and children in this district and we spend more time talking about police than anything. Not one time have they listened to us. We want better for all students, we really want that."

The agreement for police at school events lasts until December 31.