WINNIPEG MAYORAL, CITY COUNCIL, & SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEE CANDIDATES’ PLEDGE FOR POLICE FREE SCHOOLS
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls To Action include the implementation of education planning that respects and honours treaty relationships, that closes the resource gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, and that develops culturally-appropriate curricula. Police presence is an obstruction to all of these needs, and an obstruction to access to education more generally—a human right that publicly elected officials need to support and uphold.
Schools Resource Officer programs have largely been implemented with no public consultation, and they cause demonstrable harm to students and communities. In recent years, there have been multiple community led initiatives that have resulted in SRO and other school policing program removals. Due to advocacy and community organizing across the country, many school boards have done the right thing: upheld equity and human rights by voting to remove SRO/police-in-school programs.
The facts demonstrate overwhelmingly that students from marginal groups suffer inordinate harm via police presence. The issues of police-in-school programs and policing in schools, and their connection to the school-to-prison/deportation pipeline, as well as the carceral infrastructure of educational spaces—from school policies, to embedded practices and culture—is not isolated, but rather systemic.
The City of Winnipeg funds half of the cost of our school divisions’ School Resource Officer programs, and divisions fund the other half. This is unacceptable. The removal of such police-in-school programs is a first, and necessary step that can be taken immediately, while working toward additional changes that are needed for the co-creation of transformative, healthy, equitable, and life-affirming, police-free schools.
I,___________________________________________________ candidate for _________________ in the electoral ward of __________________________________, if elected, pledge to support police-free and policing-free schools by:
- Actively advocating for the immediate removal of funding for any and all police-in-school programs and initiatives across K-12. (Examples: School Resource Officer Program, School Engagement Program, TakeAction Program, and police involvement in Winnipeg schools under other program or initiative titles framed as “educational,” “relationship-building” or “community” initiatives.)
- Supporting community-led alternatives while opposing all efforts by the Winnipeg Police Service to reintroduce such programs (or renamed versions of them) once eliminated.
How to submit:
- Take a selfie while holding up this signed pledge and post using hashtag #PolicingFreeSchoolsWpg
Send to firstname.lastname@example.org