DPS meeting on use of police postponed

Dayton Public Schools’ special meeting on the use of police at school events has been postponed because of a scheduling conflict.

The school board recently approved two $5,000 contracts to pay police and sheriff’s deputies for extra security as needed at school events for the rest of the school year. School board president Adil Baguirov called it a response to fights that broke out at games and had a negative effect on the district.

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Members of the Racial Justice Now community group complained passionately at the Feb. 16 DPS meeting, citing mistrust of police and calling for community activists to address the issues rather than police. The school board agreed to hold a special session to weigh the issue.

But the board scheduled that special meeting for 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, the same day that Racial Justice Now is hosting a 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. workshop on school, health, violence and police issues.

DPS Superintendent Lori Ward is listed as a panelist for an 11 a.m. discussion of education issues at RJN’s event, which is titled Restoring HOPE (healing, opportunity, peace, and excellence).

Several RJN members complained at the February meeting that Baguirov had cut their speaking time from three minutes per person to one minute. When the new meeting was scheduled at the same time as RJN’s event, community members wrote letters to the school board asking them to reschedule.

“If true community participation is your intent, you must make steps to include the community rather than pressure them to abandon one essential community dialogue for another,” Kavin Shah wrote in a letter to the board.

Baguirov confirmed the postponement in an email Monday.

“We decided to definitely not hold the special meeting on March 5. We are unsure yet of a new date,” he said.

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