Educate Don't Incarcerate

CPS Partners with Community Groups to “Reimagine” School Safety

Today, Chicago Public Schools announced it is partnering with five Chicago community groups to create alternatives to police in schools. The five groups are: The Ark of St. Sabina, BUILD Inc., Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), Mikva Challenge and Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE). Each group will receive a $30,000 grant for the work, which was funded by private philanthropy, according to a CPS press release.

“In this unprecedented time we have to take time to rethink safety. Safety is not just the physical space but encompasses the emotional and psychological well-being of our children,” said Lynn Morton, a parent leader of COFI.

The Whole School Safety Committee will host 10 community engagement sessions in February, synthesizing community feedback into 5-10 recommendations for the district to consider.  To keep up with the Whole School Safety Planning Process and sign up to participate in meetings, go to

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Maureen Kelleher

Chicago Unheard blog manager Maureen Kelleher also serves as a senior writer and editor at brightbeam, a nonprofit network of education activists demanding a better education and brighter future for every child. Before joining the brightbeam team, she spent a decade as a reporter, blogger and policy analyst. Her work has been published across the education world, from Education Week to the Center for American Progress. A former high school English teacher, she is also the proud mom of a middle-schooler. Find her on Twitter at @KelleherMaureen.

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