Police will no longer walk the halls of Hayward schools following a unanimous decision Wednesday by the school board, a school district spokeswoman said Thursday.
Oakland has also recently ended its partnership with Oakland police.
The Hayward Unified School District school board will have more discussions with the community on how to ensure the safety of students and staff on school campuses, but otherwise the district did not say what will be put in place of police.
Superintendent Matt Wayne said:
“After a national reckoning on issues of racial injustice and policing practices, we owed it to our community to pause and have in-depth conversations about the impact of police officers on our campuses.”
“We look forward to working collaboratively with our community to reimagine school safety and create a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and staff members.”
School district spokeswoman Dionicia Ramos said police have not been in Hayward schools this school year. Previously, six school resources officers, as they were called, supported four high schools and five middle schools, she said.
Ramos said the school board in June put a hold on the memorandum of understanding the district had with Hayward police for school resource officers. The board asked for more information and community input before deciding to renew the agreement.
Pausing the agreement was made by evaluating several factors, she said, including the program’s effectiveness, the roles that officers play in schools, and the notion that police presence may impact students negatively.
The negative impact may be especially potent on students of color, she said.
The school resource officer program was co-funded by the district and Hayward police. School resource officers in Hayward were sworn police officers with training to work in a primary school setting.
The agreement with Hayward police was set to be renewed on June 24.
Discussions have taken place between the district and students, staff, parents, police, and community and labor leaders to help make the transition from police to something better.
The groups looked at data and heard from student focus groups to give the board some ideas on how safety can be improved.
Ramos said it has been important to give the community the opportunity to talk about school safety considering the national conversation around policing and racial injustice.