Some Madison schools will participate next year in a Black Lives Matter event that features a call to “fund counselors, not cops” — despite the School Board’s decision this week to keep police officers in the Madison School District’s four main high schools.
Hamilton Middle School said in an email to community members Thursday that it would participate in Black Lives Matter at School week Feb. 4-8. “Other schools in Madison” are also participating in the event, according to the email.
The BLM at School movement began in 2016, according to the group’s website, and its first “week of action” was in February of this year. In addition to cutting funding for school-based police officers — commonly known as educational, or school, resource officers — the movement’s other three goals are to:
End “zero tolerance” discipline and implement more restorative justice programs.
Hire more black teachers.
Mandate black history and ethnic studies in K-12 curriculum.
Andrew Waity, president of the Madison teachers union, Madison Teachers Inc., said in a Friday email that “MTI members have been interested in participating in this event for a while and first brought it forward last year.”
But that “does not change our existing position of support for Educational Resource Officers in (Madison School District) high schools,” he said. “We believe that it is the responsibility of the district and (the Madison Police Department) to develop a contract that defines the roles and responsibilities of these officers.”
“The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”