Expel the disrupters, not the police
Only in the Emerald City would the school district even consider evicting police from its high schools. Truly, Madison is that island surrounded by the reality of mass school shootings, most recently this month at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where 17 were killed. (If the shooting occurred despite an armed guard on the premises it could be argued the school needed more.)
The ad hoc school board committee considering Educational Resource Officers (or EROs) will hold four listening sessions for public comment in April to respond to its final recommendations, which are still being determined.
Police EROs L-R: Justin Creech, West; Ken Mosley, La Follette; Zulma Franco, East; Tray Turner, Memorial H.S.
One of those recommendations is to expel the single ERO at each of Madison’s four high schools. (Those recommendations discussed here.)
At the committee’s meeting Wednesday evening (02-21-18), member Justice Castenada said: “We are not getting any compelling argument for the physical presence of police in school.” I spoke before the meeting with committee chairman Dean Loumos, a member of the full Board of Education. My sense is that he might not agree but I cannot predict how the 12-member committee* will vote.
For a year now, the Education Resource Officer (ERO) Ad Hoc Committee has been besieged by the Derail the Jail Crowd. Thirty of them crowded the committee room at the Doyle School District administrative Bldg. The same anti-cop people who want no jail (even one that would treat mental illness) and “community control of the police,” whatever that means. The same people who blame police for crime.
This small but noisy group is completely out of touch with the parents and taxpayers of Madison.
- Just this week in Madison, large-scale brawls broke out almost simultaneously on February 19 at East, West, and Memorial H.S. La Follette H.S. had its own brawl on February 13, to which 18 police responded. Two students and one teacher were injured.
- The night of February 20, 150 parents concerned about the break-down in discipline met at La Follette.
- The very day of your meeting, an ERO at La Follette disarmed a student who brought a .22-caliber handgun to school. Could your average English teacher have done that?
It is time someone spoke for the victims of chaos in our schools: students who want to learn, teachers who want to teach — regardless of race. Say it NOW and say it TODAY: Madison Schools fully supports cops in the schools.
The Race Card
Metro Madison School District is convinced that too many students of color are being arrested or cited by police for disrupting schools. The district had made a conscious policy of driving down arrests to the point where the school board is actually considering eliminating the cure rather than the problem.
Even at that, MMSD still has not eliminated racial disparity.
Of the 105 high school students arrested in the 2016-17 school year,
81 were Afro-American.
Stanford University’s Thomas Sowell asks: “Is it impossible that black males misbehave in school more often than Asian females? Or Jewish students? Or others?”
“Racial equity,” the Manhattan Institute observes, “has become the all-purpose justification for dubious educational policies. Equity proponents view disparate impact — when the same policies yield different outcomes among demographic groups — as conclusive proof of discrimination. ‘Equity’ does not seek equal treatment for all students. Instead, it demands statistical equivalence in discipline referrals and suspensions for students of every racial group, regardless of those students’ actual conduct.”
The Squire advocates state legislation forbidding the collection of data based on race for any institution that receives state funding.
He would expressly allow, statutorily, the use of physical force when confronted with disruptive conduct. My friend Mitch Henck recalls the first time he laid eyes on the late, justly revered Milton McPike. The East High principal was in the process of frog-marching a miscreant by the scruff of his neck into a waiting police squad car.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Instead of setting the bar lower, please decline the Race Card for insufficient funds.
Chief Koval talks to Our Ms. Vicki about cops in schools
Tell the school board what you think:
* ERO ad hoc committee members: School board members Dean Loumos, T.J. Mertz, Anna Moffit; and Tyrone Bell, Justice Castaneda, Heather Crowley, Ald. Barbara Harrington- McKinney, Payal Khandhar, Nestic Morris, David Olson, Greg Rosetti, Abra Vigna.