Dear Dr. Joe Gothard and Saint Paul Public Schools Board Members,
My name is [YOUR NAME], and I am a resident of [YOUR CITY, STATE]. I stand in solidarity with protesters across the country who are out in the streets in response to the horrific murders of George Floyd, a Black man, by the Minneapolis police, and are appalled by the recent murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and countless others. More broadly, we call for an end to police terror and anti-Blackness.
I recognize the importance of education. It is imperative that Black students are free from police violence and terror in their schools. That is not possible if the district continues its relationship with local police departments and private security companies. I urge Saint Paul Public Schools to follow the lead of Minneapolis Public Schools, and take action to divest from policing in the district.
To that end, I demand that SPPS immediately terminate all of their relations with police departments and private security companies. These policing institutions enact the same violence in our own communities as we have seen this week in Minneapolis, and through these relations our public schools support this violence and continue to uphold the white supremacy that is foundational to this country.
I join students, teachers, parents and alumni around the country in our demand that schools remove police and security officers from SPPS. I call on SPPS to take the following actions –
- Break ties immediately with the police departments and private security companies in that contract with SPPS. Police, and their proxies, private security companies, have no place on elementary, middle and high school campuses.
- Redirect funds divested from policing to provide educational opportunities for communities impacted by police violence.
- Commit resources to support community-led alternatives to policing.
- Propose plans for ensuring the safety of Black and other marginalized students on campus from racial profiling by police and other security forces with input from members of the Black, indigenous and other communities of color themselves.
- Issue statements condemning these recent murders.
Although the murder of George Floyd was the catalyst for these recent protests, it was not the sole cause. Black people have been subjected to centuries of state terror, and economic and social exclusion. The current protests reflect concerned members of society taking direct, collective action to demand an end to the abuse and violence directed against Black people.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]