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Virginia school board votes to remove officers from halls

June 26, 2021 GMT

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A Virginia school district is removing police officers from its school hallways.

The Arlington Public Schools board unanimously approved the change on Thursday, the Washington Post reported.

Schools Superintendent Francisco Durán said law enforcement agencies will respond to emergencies but no longer will have officers stationed at the school starting this fall.

“I know there are some in the community that are anxious about the changes,” Durán said.

Durán based his recommendation to remove police officers on the findings of a work group that examined the school district’s relationship with the Arlington County Police Department.

Many large school systems have curtailed or eliminated the use of police officers in schools after a white Minneapolis police officer’s killing of George Floyd, a Black man, fueled national protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

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WTOP reports that the Alexandria City Schools is the only other district in the northern Virginia region that has formally voted to remove school resource officers from its public schools.

The Arlington Public Schools board doesn’t have the authority to completely shut down the decades-old Arlington School Resource Officer program. The county of Arlington provides the program with $3 million in annual funding.