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Rally calls for removal of police from Pittsburgh Public Schools

PITTSBURGH — There is a call to remove police from Pittsburgh Public Schools, and demonstrators are rallied ahead of Monday night’s school board meeting.

The rally happened in front of the Pittsburgh Board of Education Building and virtually on Zoom. There are about 11 different organizations involved in the rally and the overall effort.

Not only do they want to remove police from Pittsburgh Public Schools, they also want the district to implement strategies and mental health programs to support teachers.

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There are two big petitions in the works right now, with hundreds of signatures already.

One is removing police from schools as well as looking at a possible suspension ban. (CLICK HERE). The other petition calling on the removal of the superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools

However, some people argue school officers are essential for the safety of students.

According to Channel 11′s news exchange partners at TribLIVE, five Pittsburgh Public Schools were among the state’s highest in arrests and citations in 2019.

According to the annual Safe Schools report for 2018-2019, there were more than 260 arrests and citations across all schools in the district. PPS officials previously called the report misleading and said it didn’t provide full context to the numbers.

The rally lead up to the school boards public hearing at 6 p.m. when community members had the chance to voice their opinion about school-related issues.

During the hearing, students and parents shared specific stories of why they support police in schools.

Some students said police make them feel safe. Some even named specific officers

They appreciate and explained why they feel more like mentors to them. One student even credited an officer for helping them graduate.

But not everyone feels that way. Some parents and community members expressed why police should be removed from Pittsburgh schools.

They said black and brown students are over-policed in schools and criminalized.

Many have suggested reallocating funding to hire additional social workers, counselors and support staff.

There were so many speakers that the public hearing will continue Tuesday at 3 p.m.

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