4J school board member supports removing school resource officers

Over 150 protesters gathered at the federal courthouse and listened to speakers before marching through the street

Posted: Jun 16, 2020 11:38 PM
Updated: Jun 17, 2020 7:12 PM

EUGENE, Ore.-- Protesters marched through the streets of downtown Eugene Tuesday evening, demanding the 4J school board not renew its contract with the Eugene Police Department.

Over 150 protesters gathered at the federal courthouse and listened to speakers before marching through the streets. One of those speakers was board member Martina Shabram. She told protesters point blank that she will not be voting for a contract renewal that provides school resource officers at high school campuses in the district.

"Tomorrow night we have this vote, which means we have a lot of power at this moment that we don't always feel like we have," Shabram said.

Shabram told the crowd data from Dignity Schools, a nonprofit that works to keep children out of prison and in the classroom, shows police officers on campus create more harm than good.

"It's been correlated with lower test scores for students of color, lower graduation rates for students of color, a greater sense of not belonging and being pushed out," Shabram said.

When it comes to the threat school shootings, Shabram said the district needs to invest in school resources like counselors and not school resource officers.

"I want to play the long game when it comes to kids," Shabram said. "I want us to be providing the resources they need in kindergarten, in pre-K, and all the way up."

The 4J school board will decide the future of its school resource officers Wednesday night at their board meeting.

Public comment will be received by email only. Email board@4j.lane.edu and label the subject line as: "Public Comment."

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