Phoenix Union board holds off on decision to bring back police to campuses

Apr 14, 2023, 9:04 AM | Updated: 2:09 pm

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – A Valley high school district board on Thursday night voted to set aside deciding whether to bring police back on campuses.

The lengthy Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board meeting ended without a timetable for a resolution on the recommendation made by the student safety committee.

Board members instead determined to hold more public study sessions in the coming weeks but to extend the off-duty officer model through June 30. The current model was set to expire May 4.

A student safety committee recommended at a March 29 meeting that police be asked to return but with certain conditions.

The district, which oversees 23 schools, eliminated campus resource officers starting in 2021

Dozens of speakers in person and virtually signed up for the public comment period Thursday.

Puente Arizona youth organizer Jayden Huerta opposed bringing back the officers.

“Whether it’s the student did something they shouldn’t have, a student experiencing a mental health crisis or a a student who’s experiencing a problem at home, a police officer has no business being involved,” Huerta said.

On the other side, district employee Anastasia Jimenez held up a petition of what she said was 600 signatures from parents, students and alumni who support officers on campus.

Earlier in the week, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne urged all Arizona schools to have resource officers on campus.

The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is May 4.

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Phoenix Union board holds off on decision to bring back police to campuses