Throughout the public comment period, several people said the presence of police officers inside school can negatively affect students of color and feeds into the “school-to-prison pipeline.”
“Ain’t no amount of training, ain’t no amount of special certificates is going to matter when it comes to black and brown kids, because (police officers) see us as thugs and criminals,” said Bianca Gomez, a member of Freedom Inc., an activist organization focused on issues that affect minority populations.
As Blaska attempted to capture the public comment on his cellphone, others took issue with juvenile speakers being recorded and attempted to block his view by either standing in front of him or putting objects in front of his phone, alleging he runs a racist blog where the youths’ photos would be posted.
Blaska moved about the meeting room, which was held in the McDaniels Auditorium in the district’s Doyle Administration Building, and others continued to follow along and block his phone.
The emotions culminated in a heated face-to-face argument between a woman who had earlier spoke in support of EROs and some people wishing to remove EROs.
A public hearing on a proposal to redefine the Madison School District’s relationship with police descended into chaos Wednesday when factions confronted each other with invective, insults and physical altercations.
The proposal would remove armed educational resource officers from the district’s four main high schools and replace them with at least 20 specially trained school liaison officers that would develop relationships with all district schools and respond to incidents when needed.
The proposal drew no support from 20 people who registered to speak, many of them members of Freedom Inc., a grassroots social justice group that sees the move as an increase in policing efforts. But a small minority of speakers blasted the committee in charge of drafting the new policy for proposing to remove armed officers at East, West, La Follette and Memorial high schools.
“Think of that potential school shooter out there,” said Patrick O’Loughlin, an accountant who teaches business math at a local private high school. “Experience tells us that they think about it for quite some time before acting. What is he going to think when you kick the armed officers off campus?”
O’Loughlin suggested that the draft proposal was intentionally light on statistics supporting the elimination of EROs. He went on to list the kinds of statistics the proposal should have included.
“You can take your statistics and shove them,” said Mahnker Dahnweih of Freedom Inc.
Why did Cops Out of Schools committee ignore its own safety expert?
NBC 15 meeting report.
Madison should kick police officers out of its public high schools, a school board committee is poised to recommend. Instead, they would be replaced by 20 more so “liaison” officers who would be called into the schools only as needed.
A majority of the Madison School Board rejected the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter school.
“They’re all rich white kids and they’ll do just fine, NOT!”: 1995-1999 (!)
Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results.
The Madison school district spends far more than most: budget details.
What’s different, this time (2013)?