3 OF 4 PEOPLE ARRESTED AT CPS ARE BLACK, EVEN AS ARRESTS PLUMMET
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!”
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.