Tensions high as San Jose Unified votes to keep police officers for after-school activities

San Jose’s largest school district voted Thursday night to keep its agreement with San Jose police and allow officers on campus for afterschool activities. It comes after heated debate.

The school board voted to eliminate its school resource officer program back in June. The question was whether to have officers at all on school grounds for sporting events and dances. The decision left families divided.

"You three voted no to protecting our children why?" said Parent Johnny Wright.

There was outrage Thursday night directed at San Jose’s Unified School Board over a decision to remove San Jose police officers on campus during the school day.

"If you remove San Jose Police from our campus, I will feel extremely uncomfortable and unsafe," said Student Olivia Wright.

The school board made the controversial move six weeks ago to end its school resource officer program. It came after mounting pressure from community members to reimagine school safety.

Some families demanded the program be reinstated, but that wasn’t the case.

The issue on Thursday night was whether to have San Jose Police for school-related events. Football season is around the corner.

"We thought it was no police on campus as of June 24," said Crystal Calhoun of San Jose Unified Equity Coalition.

Calhoun is part of the San Jose Unified Equity Coalition, a grassroots group made of parents and educators. Many of whom spoke and held signs advocating for campuses to be police-free all hours of the day.

"We don’t want any contract with San Jose Police, because they have not proven to be fair and honest and that's not good for the students," said Calhoun.

Parents called for change claiming police officers on campus is traumatizing for students. They urged the board to hire unarmed private security not cops.

"Someone asked me why not have security guards," said San Jose Unified School District Board President Brian Wheatley. "Nothing against security guards but my understanding is they don't have the training, experience, knowledge."

In the end, the school board voted to keep its agreement with San Jose Police until December 31. Officers can be hired for special school events only. It did not sit well with everyone.

"All we talk about is the damn cops, let's talk about the students," said Calhoun.

There were some tense moments after the vote with an exchange of words between parents outside the board meeting. The direction for staff now is to research what other school districts are doing.

The board plans to revisit the issue at a later board meeting before December.

Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Azenith at azenith.smith@fox.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.