The Lewiston School Committee voted to remove a police officer from the city's schools and end involvement with the D.A.R.E. program. Credit: Courtesy of Lewiston Public Schools

After hours of debate Monday night, the Lewiston School Committee has voted to eliminate one of four school resource officers in the district.

The committee also voted to end the use of the federal D.A.R.E. drug education program. The money saved from the cuts will instead be spent on a restorative justice coordinator at Lewiston High School.

School committee member Kiernan Majerus-Collins wrote the proposal and said the measure is an important step to reduce excessive law enforcement presence in schools.

“What this committee can do is take a moderate, measured step to recognize that our resources are disproportionately allocated for policing in schools, and shift a slice of those resources to restorative justice,” he said.

Other school districts, including Portland and Kittery, have also voted to eliminate school resource officers in recent months.

Groups such as the ACLU have opposed the use of school resource officers and have cited studies showing that their use does not reduce the likelihood of school shootings, and tend to disproportionately affect Black students.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.