UPDATE: Plan to introduce new Illinois bill to remove school resource officers tabled

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UPDATE: In a Facebook post, Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Downers Grove) said she does not plan to call the school resource officer this session. She pointed to the passing of the police reform bill as the reason for her decision.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — A bill introduced Wednesday would eliminate School Resource Officers from all Illinois schools, a move that supporters say would lessen Black students being disproportionately arrested and punished.

HB 0029 was filed January 13th by Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Downers Grove).

The synopsis of the bill reads: “Amends the School Code. Provides that law enforcement officers shall not maintain a presence on school grounds unless there exists an imminent threat of danger to students at the school in question or there is reason to believe that urgent and immediate action is necessary to prevent such danger to students. Makes conforming changes. Defines ‘school grounds.'”

Police officers assigned to schools wear a uniform, carry guns and get specialized training. Critics say having armed police on campus often results in Black students being arrested, leading to what they call the schools-to-prison pipeline.

Supporters say police make schools safer and that having someone trained to deal with young people is more effective than having random officers respond to large fights and other problems.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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