CHICAGO – State Rep. Mary Gill, D-Chicago, is introducing legislation to ensure that Chicago Local School Councils (LSC) maintain the authority to decide if Chicago Police officers are assigned to their schools.

Gill’s proposed change to state law would preempt the Chicago Board of Education’s reported plan to strip LSC members of that decision-making power, which would effectively end the practice of having resource officers in any Chicago Public School. 

“The parents, community members, and teachers elected to serve on their LSC understand their school’s environment better than anyone else,” Gill said. “They are in the best position to determine whether the presence of a police officer is good for their school, not the downtown CPS bureaucracy.” 

Gill is a former public school teacher and CPS graduate. Prior to becoming a state representative last year, she served as a member of the LSC for the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.

“The Illinois state legislature created Chicago Local School Councils nearly 30 years ago in order to give parents, community residents, teachers, and principals a bigger role in how each school is run,” Gill said. “Unfortunately, the Chicago Board of Education has sought to strip power from the LSCs ever since. With this legislation, I am asking my colleagues to ensure parents still have a say in our children’s safety.”

State Rep. Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar, D-Chicago, will be a chief co-sponsor on this legislation. 

“The LSC understands the pulse of the school. Made up of teachers, parents and community members, they know their school community best and should make decisions about school security,” Guerrero-Cuellar said. “The LSC may want police presence for a wide variety of reasons, including the worst-case scenario of a school shooting. It should be their decision on how to protect their students and school community.”

Carisa Parker, community engagement coordinator of the Chicago Police District 22 Council and chair of the LSC at Morgan Park High School is working collaboratively with Gill on this measure.

“Local School Councils were created to give voice to the school community,” Parker said. “We are comprised of elected individuals who are entrusted with doing what is best for our student body. It is alarming to me that the Chicago Board of Education would consider, without due cause or processes, taking the decision away from LSCs.”

Last week, several news outlets reported that CPS officials had informed high school principals that the Board of Education had decided to remove police officers from all schools, starting this summer. According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, school councils at 39 of CPS’s 91 high schools have voted to have police officers.

“While the LCS I served on decided that having police officers present creates a safer and better learning environment, many other LSCs have decided to go in the opposite direction,” Gill said. “I respect their point of view and I want to ensure that those LSCs and the LSC I served on remain empowered to decide what is best for their school.”

Rep. Mary GillRep. Mary Gill

35th District

Springfield Office:
279-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-8200

District Office:
10400 S. Western
Chicago, IL  60643
(773) 445-8128