SOUTH BEND, Ind.–A police officer was walking through Coquillard Elementary School in South Bend, and was asked to leave by a school administrator. That was caught on body cam. Now Black Lives Matter and the NAACP of South Bend are claiming the police have no right to be in the schools.
“We’ve been told that there is no contract. There is no MOU. So, if there is documentation of that, they need to produce it,” said Black Lives Matter, South Bend chapter Pres. Regina Williams-Preston, talking with reporters Wednesday.
The groups claim that having police in the schools is a violation of a city ordinance that says there must be a contract or a memorandum of understanding, and that police must have school resource officer training.
Superintendent Todd Cummings says the district and the police department do have the proper MOU, which was signed for the 2012-2013 school year and is still valid. In a statement to reporters, Cummings said that the current agreement may need to be restructures, but that the district is not considering removing the school resource officers.
“This is a public call to school board members, district administrators, to do your job, uphold the law, and remove police from schools now,” said Williams-Preston. But, the groups may not have any legal basis to make their claim, if the superintendent is correct.
“This isn’t about whether they’re good cops or bad cops. This is about upholding the law, which we are all required to do,” said NAACP South Bend Pres. Trina Robinson.
The South Bend Police Dept. said in a statement released to reporters that all of the proper documentation and training is in place, so they are lawfully collaborating with the schools.