The public school district in Minneapolis, after cutting their ties with the city's police in early June, has quietly sought to replace contracted school resource officers (SROs) with privately hired security guards—a move that enraged the teachers union, which wants no policing on campus at all.
In the wake of the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police officers, the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) board of education voted unanimously to terminate its contract with the Minneapolis Police Department, saying it "cannot continue to be in partnership with an organization that has the culture of violence and racism." As the new school year approaches, however, the MPS found itself in need of a security force to keep campuses safe.
According to an online job posting, the MPS plans to pay between $65,695 to $85,790 for 11 "public safety support specialists (PSSS)." The PSSS won't be police officers, but are required to have law enforcement degrees and experience. Their list of responsibilities include: breaking up fights, event security, and providing "a bridge between in-school intervention and law enforcement."
In response, the MPS said they were hiring for PSSS on "an accelerated schedule to ensure we have staff onboard and extensively trained" before Aug. 18, the first day of school.
"The most important experience required for the position is understanding and making authentic connections with students so that students do not feel another adult is being brought in to control them," the district said.
The deaths of George Floyd has caused many school districts to consider stop contracting with local police departments or dismantling their own campus police forces. Protesters in several major cities, notably Chicago, Denver, and Portland, have demanded the removal of resource officers from schools.