South Bend Superintendent Todd Cummings thanks city, district and community partners for coming together to share ideas about a proposed contract for school resource officers in a Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2021 meetingat Riley High School. Staff photo by Carley Lanich
South Bend Superintendent Todd Cummings thanks city, district and community partners for coming together to share ideas about a proposed contract for school resource officers in a Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2021 meetingat Riley High School. Staff photo by Carley Lanich
SOUTH BEND — Police officers will stay in South Bend schools through at least the end of next school year under a contract approved by the South Bend school board Monday night.

After months of debate about how best to ensure students' safety and whether police should remain in the buildings, board members voted 4-3 Monday night to continue a longstanding relationship with city and county police departments. which together, provide five school resource officers, or SROs, in district buildings.

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Some board members welcomed new contracts brought for consideration, calling them “an improvement”, while others brought concerns about the process undertaken to bring forward the agreements Monday night.

Board members Jeanette McCullough, Ruth Warren, Leslie Wesley and John Anella voted in favor of the contracts, while members Stephanie Ball, Stuart Greene and Oletha Jones voted against them.

"This is a complex issue and should not be framed as being for or against police," Warren said before her vote Monday. "We may finalize the MOU tonight, but we should not finalize the community conversation on the topic."

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