Jefferson High School senior Sarah Steele watched in disbelief as the Portland Public Schools board of directors took another vote on Resolution 5771. The new vote would ensure that, despite vocal protests, the school district would enter into a cost-sharing agreement with the Portland Police Bureau for nine full-time school resource officers.
The Jefferson High School student body co-president said afterward that the decision obliterated her faith that the school board took students seriously.
“I just could not believe that they would hear our voices and just full-on deny it,” Steele said. The Jefferson High School co-presidents, Steele and Isabel Mace-McLatchie, had gotten a standing ovation from the audience in the crowded board room less than an hour before, after pleading with the board to delay the vote.
The highly emotional discussion in the normally staid boardroom ended with an unusual re-vote on the agreement after it failed to gain the four votes necessary for passage. A motion to delay the vote for a few months — in accordance with student demands and an online petition with more than 700 signatures — received two yes votes, from board members Scott Bailey and Amy Kohnstamm.
Read the whole story at Pamplin Media.