Dis­trict re­port reveals about 75% of peo­ple taken into cus­tody were Black even as num­ber of in­ci­dents has plum­meted over past 9 years


About three of ev­ery four peo­ple ar­rested at a Chicago Pub­lic Schools prop­erty over the past nine years have been Black, even as ar­rests have plum­meted in that time to only a frac­tion of what they were in the 2011-2012 school year, new data re­leased Fri­day by the dis­trict shows.

There were 1,000 day­time ar­rests on pub­lic school grounds in the last full aca­demic year, 2018-19. That’s down sig­nif­i­cantly from 2012, when 3,485 ar­rests were made. Al­most 500 ar­rests were made the past school year, which was short­ened due to coro­n­avirus clo­sures.

More than 76% of those ar­rested in 2018-19 were African Amer­i­can, the data shows. That rate has largely re­mained steady over the past sev­eral years.

The re­port re­leased by CPS says not all of those ar­rested were stu­dents. Some ar­rests in­cluded may have been en­tirely un­re­lated to school events or deal­ing with some­one who has no con­nec­tion to the school. It re­mains un­clear how many stu­dents have been ar­rested at CPS over the years, of­fi­cials said.

“In 2011-12, we were still un­der zero tol­er­ance, mean­ing the poli­cies in our stu­dent code of con­duct re­ally were not very restora­tive,” CPS’ chief of safety and se­cu­rity, Ja­dine Chou, said in an in­ter­view Fri­day. “And over the years we have com­pletely turned that over where we are now us­ing very pro­gres­sive dis­ci­plinary poli­cies that sup­port keep­ing chil­dren in the class­room, keep­ing chil­dren in school, not ex­clu­sion­ary poli­cies that sus­pend stu­dents or ar­rest stu­dents.

Chou said “we’ve made tremen­dous progress. We are see­ing all the adults in the build­ing start­ing to work to­gether to sus­tain this di­rec­tion, this jour­ney that we’re tak­ing. The data shows that it’s head­ing there. That is our goal, is to elim­i­nate the school-to-prison pipe­line.”

More than 63% of those ar­rested were male in 2018-19, CPS said. The av­er­age age was 15.5 af­ter the dis­trict re­moved all ar­rests of peo­ple over 21 years old.

CPS said the data was pro­vided by the Chicago Po­lice Depart­ment, and ar­rests were lo­cated at a school ad­dress but did “not nec­es­sar­ily in­di­cate the ar­rest was based on an in­ci­dent that oc­curred at the school or con­nected to the school,” the re­port said. While the ar­rests in­clude peo­ple 21 or younger, that “does not nec­es­sar­ily in­di­cate that the in­di­vid­ual ar­rested was an ac­tive stu­dent or has a con­nec­tion to the school,” the re­port said.

The ar­rests took place dur­ing the aca­demic year be­tween 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week.

The school where the most ar­rests hap­pened this past short­ened aca­demic year was Chicago Vo­ca­tional

High School in the Stony Is­land Park neigh­bor­hood on the South Side. There were 65 ar­rests this year.

The re­lease came as Lo­cal School Coun­cils fin­ished vot­ing on whether to keep of­fi­cers at their schools. Over the past few weeks, 17 of 72 schools in the SRO pro­gram de­cided to re­move their cops. The ma­jor­ity of LSCs that voted, in­clud­ing at Chicago Vo­ca­tional, opted to keep them in place.

The ar­rest num­bers add an­other layer to a com­plex de­bate on polic­ing in pub­lic schools that has grown into one of the most press­ing is­sues at CPS. Protests against the pres­ence of of­fi­cers in schools grew last year when the dis­trict agreed to a $33 mil­lion con­tract with the Chicago Po­lice Depart­ment — which has since been re­duced to $15 mil­lion for the up­com­ing year — and again in­creased dur­ing so­cial jus­tice protests this sum­mer.

This is the first time ar­rest records at CPS have been made pub­lic de­spite the Au­gust 2019 agree­ment with the Chicago Po­lice Depart­ment man­dat­ing daily re­ports be kept on crimes and ar­rests at CPS schools and a monthly re­port be sent from CPD to CPS de­tail­ing those in­ci­dents.

The data has been re­quested by sev­eral news out­lets, in­clud­ing the Chicago Sun-Times, for months.

Chou ad­mit­ted at a City Coun­cil hear­ing last month that the dis­trict doesn’t know how many stu­dents are ar­rested in its build­ings.

“That’s def­i­nitely some­thing we have to do a bet­ter job of un­der­stand­ing,” she said, draw­ing Ald. Ros­sana Ro­driguez-Sanchez (33rd) to say “this seems like a lot of crit­i­cal data that is miss­ing.”

The city’s Board of Ed­u­ca­tion chose by a nar­row mar­gin in June not to can­cel its con­tract with the CPD. The board again faces a mon­u­men­tal vote later this month on whether to re­new the agree­ment that ex­pires at the end of Au­gust.

Mayor Lori Light­foot and CPS ad­min­is­tra­tors have pushed for the con­tract to re­main in place, ar­gu­ing each school should de­cide on its own whether to keep its of­fi­cers, pass­ing the de­ci­sion to LSCs.

The bul­bous fruit it­self won’t be ready to har­vest un­til early Septem­ber in these parts, but pump­kin-fla­vored good­ies are al­ready in stores — or will be soon.

And it’s not your imag­i­na­tion — Hal­loween can­dies are on the shelves in some stores. Re­tail­ers are try­ing to get a head start on an un­cer­tain year for trickor-treat­ing.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ pump­kin-fla­vored drinks and snacks are ex­pected to ap­pear in stores be­gin­ning Aug. 19, the com­pany an­nounced this week.

The Hal­loween season, which runs from early Septem­ber through Oc­to­ber, gen­er­ates about $4.6 bil­lion in sales of can­dies and choco­lates in the United States, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Con­fec­tion­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, which is based in Wash­ing­ton D.C.

“Given ev­ery­thing that is go­ing on, there is still 63% of adults who be­lieve peo­ple will find cre­ative, fun and safe ways to cel­e­brate the Hal­loween season this year,” said Christophe­r Gindles­perger, an NCA spokesman, cit­ing a re­cent poll con­ducted on be­half of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Gindles­perger re­ferred to the Hal­loween pe­riod as the “Su­per Bowl” be­cause of its im­por­tance to the con­fec­tionary in­dus­try.

Al­li­son Kle­in­fel­ter, a spokes­woman for The Her­shey Com­pany, said some re­tail­ers started putting up dis­plays two to three weeks ear­lier than in a typ­i­cal year.

“We rec­og­nize Hal­loween cel­e­brat­ing will be dif­fer­ent this year, with an ear­lier start to the season and geo­graphic dif­fer­ences,” she said in a state­ment. “There will be more at-home ac­tiv­i­ties with fam­i­lies shar­ing time­less tra­di­tions and new ways peo­ple cel­e­brate with neigh­bors. … While many peo­ple plan to trick or treat safely (out­doors and masks), about half of con­sumers are open to mak­ing new tra­di­tions this year in­clud­ing trea­sure hunts, care pack­ages, con­tact­less trickor-treat­ing and back­yard fam­ily/friend gath­er­ings.”

A spokes­woman for Chicago-based Fan­nie May said Hal­loween cho­co­late dis­plays will start ap­pear­ing in the com­pany’s 60 stores in early Septem­ber, as they have in pre­vi­ous years.

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Joe Bi­den did some­thing si­mul­ta­ne­ously clever and stupid re­cently, in full view of TV cam­eras. He went bi­cy­cle rid­ing with his wife, Jill, at Re­hoboth Beach, Delaware, with no hel­met.

Smart, be­cause it’s ba­si­cally im­pos­si­ble for a 77-year-old man to look like any­thing but a to­tal dork in a hel­met — sum­mon­ing, for geezer Democrats, the im­age of Michael Dukakis rid­ing in a tank, the photo-op blun­der that may have set­tled the 1988 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Dumb, be­cause older cy­clists are prone to dan­ger­ous, even deadly falls. Even fit and ath­letic ones like Bi­den. With­out ex­cep­tion, ev­ery el­derly bi­cy­cle en­thu­si­ast I know has made at least one emer­gency room visit — ex­actly why I gave up rid­ing horses three years ago. You can’t ride with­out fall­ing, and when you’re over 75, you can’t fall with­out break­ing some­thing.

Pos­si­bly your fool neck, my wife pointed out.

But then try to imag­ine Boss Trump rid­ing a bike. The guy can barely nav­i­gate a ramp in his corset and el­e­va­tor shoes with­out look­ing like a cow on roller skates.

How­ever, the GOP strat­egy, of­ten as­sisted by the pre-scripted po­lit­i­cal press, is to at­tack Joe Bi­den ex­actly where Trump is weak­est. You can hardly read a news­pa­per story about the for­mer vice pres­i­dent with­out en­coun­ter­ing the word “gaffe” to sig­nify Bi­den’s oc­ca­sional off-beat re­marks.

Well, how about if Bi­den were to an­nounce that the “1917” Span­ish Flu pan­demic (1918, ac­tu­ally) brought “World War II” to an end? An event that took place, as ev­ery school­boy not named Trump un­der­stands, in 1945.

Or if it were cred­i­bly re­ported that Bi­den, like Trump, had no clue what sig­nif­i­cant mil­i­tary event took place at Pearl Har­bor?

What if he pro­nounced the name of a well-known na­tional park as if ad­dress­ing an au­di­ence of Jewish hip­sters? “Yo, Semite.”

Or dubbed an Asian na­tion “Thigh-Land”?

Would those be gaffes? Also, what if Bi­den thought Fin­land was part of Rus­sia? What if he’d gone on na­tional TV and sug­gested that doc­tors in­ject coro­n­avirus pa­tients with Clorox and shine ul­tra­vi­o­let light up their wa­zoo?

OK, enough. One could write a dozen col­umns with sim­i­lar ac­counts of Boss Trump’s blun­ders. In the real world, these things mat­ter. Be­cause some­body who can’t find the Scan­di­na­vian coun­tries (or Alabama) on a map doesn’t know a whole lot of other things a pres­i­dent must know. There is no pos­si­bil­ity of such an ig­no­ra­mus han­dling the job suc­cess­fully. None.

So why am I read­ing an ar­ti­cle in my lo­cal news­pa­per by a col­lege pro­fes­sor as­sert­ing that Bi­den “must be kept in his base­ment lest he be ex­posed as too men­tally fee­ble to carry out the du­ties of any pub­lic of­fice, let alone the pres­i­dency”?

“Slow Joe,” the pro­fes­sor dubs him.

Be­cause that’s ba­si­cally all they’ve got. Cer­tain of Bernie San­ders’ more fer­vid sup­port­ers tried a sim­i­lar gam­bit be­fore the two can­di­dates de­bated last March. They con­fi­dently pre­dicted that Bi­den’s ver­bal stum­bles would undo him.

Didn’t hap­pen. In­deed, Bi­den has al­ways been an ex­cel­lent de­bater. He all but made GOP whiz kid Paul Ryan cry dur­ing their 2012 vice pres­i­den­tial con­fronta­tion. (Ryan’s abil­i­ties were al­ways over­rated.) Al­most ev­ery­body agreed that Bi­den won what boxing fans would call a split de­ci­sion over


San­ders failed to win an­other Demo­cratic pri­mary.

Writ­ing in The Guardian, Art Cullen of the Storm Lake (Iowa) Times sum­ma­rized: “Bi­den opened with a strong com­mand of the coro­n­avirus cri­sis and how to mar­shal the world to cor­ral it. He was re­as­sur­ing and con­fi­dent in his fealty to sci­ence and facts. Vot­ers crave it.”

Yes, he was. And yes, vot­ers do. Re­call­ing his hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the Ebola and H1N1 health crises, Bi­den stressed the need to bring FEMA and the Pen­tagon on board to aug­ment lo­cal hos­pi­tals. He em­pha­sized the need for large-scale test­ing to iso­late and con­tain vi­ral out­breaks.

“Peo­ple are look­ing for re­sults, not a revo­lu­tion,” he told San­ders. Above all, Bi­den urged swift gov­ern­ment-wide ac­tion “to deal with the cri­sis now, so no one’s thrown out of their home, no one loses their mort­gage, no one is kicked out of their house, no one loses their pay­check, no one is in a po­si­tion where they have a sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial dis­abil­ity.”

Mean­while, Trump was still boast­ing about the stock mar­ket and promis­ing that COVID-19 would van­ish with warmer weather. Read­ing the de­bate tran­script, one can only lament how many more Amer­i­cans would still be alive had Slow Joe, not Boss Trump, been in charge. Many thou­sands, for sure.

So even as his cam­paign broad­casts doc­tored TV im­ages of Bi­den sup­pos­edly hid­ing in his base­ment, Trump has a new line.

“He’s fol­low­ing the rad­i­cal left agenda,” he ranted re­cently. “Take away your guns. De­stroy your Sec­ond Amend­ment. No religion! No any­thing! Hurt the Bi­ble! Hurt God! He’s against God! He’s against guns!”

Hurt God?

You know, I think the old fool is los­ing it.


Youth ac­tivists dance in front of Chicago Board of Ed­u­ca­tion Pres­i­dent Miguel del Valle’s home in June to de­mand an end to po­lice pres­ence in Chicago Pub­lic Schools.


The school with the most ar­rests this past aca­demic year was Chicago Vo­ca­tional High School in the Stony Is­land Park neigh­bor­hood on the South Side.


Pres­i­dent Trump car­ries a walk­ing stick given to him by Sen. La­mar Alexan­der, R-Tenn., af­ter a bill-sign­ing cer­e­mony at the White House on Aug. 4.

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