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    Posted: 6/3/2020

    School Emphasis Officers in Seattle Public Schools

    We are horrified and saddened by the murders and violence by police systems across our country. Seattle Public Schools stands firmly with our students, families, and staff against the continued attacks on Black community members, including violence committed by law enforcement officers here in Seattle.

    SPS is committed to dismantling white supremacy and anti-Black racism that occurs within and beyond schools. First and foremost, we will do whatever it takes to dismantle racism in our own system.

    We recognize that the school to prison pipeline begins with the criminalization of Black boys in the educational system. We are taking steps to address disproportionate discipline of African American and Black boys and young men and build a system that loves and honors their inherent excellence.

    We are also reevaluating the role of School Emphasis Officers in our schools. SPS does not currently have any contracts with the Seattle Police Department outside of providing security at athletic events, but does have School Emphasis Officers in four of our schools through a partnership with the city. Learn more about the role of School Emphasis Officers on the City of Seattle's website.

    Superintendent Juneau will be meeting with the schools' principals to discuss and evaluate the role of Emphasis Officers. We are also partnering with the Seattle Council PTSA to gather feedback directly from families of color in these schools. We are committed to ensuring that any adult in our school building is actively supporting the anti-racist goals and values of Seattle Excellence, which include creating welcoming and safe learning environments for students furthest from educational justice.