Portland, other cities rethink school police amid protests

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FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2013, file photo, a school resource officer in Anderson, Calif., walks a middle school student back to class. Portland Public Schools, Oregon's largest school district, will discontinue its use of Portland Police Bureau school resource officers. Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero said Thursday, June 4, 2020, the district needed to "re-examine our relationship" with the police in light of the nationwide upheaval over the death of George Floyd. (Andreas Fuhrmann/The Record Searchlight via AP, File)

PORTLAND, Ore.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s largest school district will no longer have police officers in its schools and joins a handful of urban districts from Minneapolis to Denver that are rethinking their school resource officer programs amid national outrage over the death of George Floyd.

Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero said Thursday that Portland Public Schools needed to “re-examine our relationship” with the police in light of protests over the death of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The district of more than 49,000 students joins Minneapolis, which severed ties with its school resource officers on Tuesday. Districts in St. Paul, Minnesota and Denver are considering doing the same. Protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, have made the end of the school resource officer program in their district one of their demands.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said Thursday that he would also discontinue using school resource officers in two smaller metropolitan districts under a program that costs the city $1.6 million a year.