$35K contract for police at school events turns into heated debate, protests Monday

Scott Girard:

A $35,000 contract not initially up for discussion at the Madison School Board meeting Monday night ended up the most hotly debated topic among board members.

The contract with the city of Madison provides for up to $35,000 paid to the Madison Police Department in 2020 for officers to provide security, safety and crowd control services at extracurricular events like well-attended sporting events and graduation.

The contract passed on a 4 to 3 vote over shouts from Freedom Inc. activists and after an amendment to redirect the funding to community organizations was offered and later removed without a vote. Board members Savion Castro, Cris Carusi, Gloria Reyes and Kate Toews voted in favor; Ananda Mirilli, Ali Muldrow and Nicki Vander Meulen voted against.

Logan Wroge:

Following the vote, about a dozen opponents of the contract chanted over board members as they discussed other items on the agenda, saying the decision to continue staffing special events, such as sporting events and graduate ceremonies, with police officers could disproportionately affect minority students.

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

In addition, Madison recently expanded its least diverse schools.