Cops likely to remain in Madison schools?

Why is ad hoc committee loathe to say so in so many words?

Social justice warriors will go ballistic

UPDATE TODAY 08-7-18 from Police Chief Mike Koval:

mike-koval-madison-police-chiefAt first blush, this document does appear to have abandoned the notion of abolishing ERO’s from the high school campuses—and that’s a very positive step forward.  Again, understanding that I have yet to receive a final report, my cautionary note is that MPD officers assigned to schools will certainly work to complement the efforts of MMSD in promoting school safety and championing efforts to have every student succeed.

However, ERO’s are not going to have their discretionary powers limited; meaning the District cannot dictate “always” or “never” when it comes to behavior(s) that should properly be addressed.  For example, there was use of the word “shall” refer to restorative justice . . .”Shall” in my world is a mandate, eliminating an officer’s discretion.  At the end of the day, ERO’s should properly be a part of a team effort to avoid citations/arrest but some situations are so compelling that the officer should make a physical arrest.

In other words, using the metaphor of Budweiser and Bud Lite, ERO’s are not going to have diminished authority or ultimate discretion in matters of school and public safety. There will be no Officer “Lites.”

The ad hoc committee on Educational Resource Officers meets one more time — 4 p.m. this Wednesday, August 8, in the auditorium of the Madison Schools administration building, 545 W. Dayton St. Then the issue goes to the full school board, probably on Monday, August 27.

No Cops in Schools

How about “No Crime In School”?

Best guess is that no public comment will be allowed at the committee meeting this Wednesday, not that it will stop the disrupters from disrupting. The Board of Education meeting August 27 is the one we should circle on our calendars. You know the bad guys will be there!


As to what the 12-member committee will recommend after 18 months of dithering, best the Policy Werkes can determine from the hodge podge of its report is that COPS STAY IN THE SCHOOLS.

What we don’t know is whether the committee will recommend handcuffing the police.  

The committee presents its draft proposal in Track Changes mode, with multiple cross-outs for deleted language and underlines for inserted verbiage. Nor does the draft definitively declare Yes or No on Cops in Schools (aka: educational resource officers, or EROs).

This is as close as we could come:

We believe that there is room for re-examination of the relationship between MPD and MMSD, and that, with or without an ERO contract, MPD [will] continue to play will no longer play a critical role in the work of MMSD, especially in an environment where there is a proliferation of firearms,and due to the current reporting mandates (WI Assembly Bill 843, WI Statutes 175.32).

Verbiage 2

Typical passage in ad hoc committee’s draft reccommendation

What a weasel out!

Wisconsin Act 143, enacted March 26, mandates that school personnel “immediately report a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a student, school employee, or the public.”

The statute prohibits the school district from interfering by imposing its own policy over this mandate. The school district cannot require the teacher or staff to first touch base with an administrator “or any other person before calling … 911.”

In an environment where there is a proliferation of firearms, it might be wise to have a police officer IN the school where they can disarm potential shooters, as the ERO did at La Follette H.S. this past February. N’est-ce pas?

The committee appears poised to recommend that the mandate for EROs to be replaced every three to five years be eliminated. Not certain whether that is the school district’s mandate or the police departments. But police officers are known to like a change of pace every so often, just like other workers, so the practice will likely continue.

Freedom Inc. Youth Brigade

Freedom Inc. doesn’t mind portraying children

Handcuffing police?

As for the other recommendations, your bloggeur is not equipped to determine if any of these are a deal breaker or, indeed, whether they differ substantially from current practice but here they are:

• Work with school administration to identify conditions which could be harmful to the welfare of students and the safety of the school environment and address those conditions in accordance with an agreement made between the school administration, social workers, and within the regulations and requirements set forth by the student bill of rights.

• Conduct initial investigations into potential criminal violations occurring off campus only if they have significant potential to impact student and/or school safety, and consult with school officials on the best course of action.

• EROs actions should be limited to criminal acts and EROs should not be enforcing school policies or be primarily directed to school sites to address ordinance violations.

• In the event that an ERO come into contact with a student or a student’s family on MMSD property, EROs shall utilize Restorative Practices and/or Youth and Community Courts in lieu of issuing citations or arrest warrants.

• If EROs are involved with any student or student’s family in the conduct of their official duties (limited to addressing criminal activities), any such involvement should be reported to MMSD officials. This should include but not be limited to incidents where EROs used force, or to incidents that are deemed critical.

• EROs should not be the primary counsel for students on understanding laws, ordinances and the juvenile code. These trainings and educational modules should be conducted by legal professionals (lawyers) and not EROs.

The mythical Pipeline

51qqgbyu13l-_ac_us218_The committee calls for “a much deeper analysis as to the root causes as to why our students and staff are not feeling safe … and that school leadership and climate … have a larger impact on school safety than does the presence of an ERO or police officers in MMSD school sites.

The committee, nonetheless, believes the Freedom Inc. cant of the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

There are very real consequences in terms of youth entering the criminal justice system resulting from youth coming into contact with police, even when the impetus behind the interaction was non-criminal in nature.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: That’s right, school people. Just waving hello to Officer Friendly in the hallway can land you in Sing Sing.

About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Cops in schools, Crime, Madison schools, War on Police and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Cops likely to remain in Madison schools?

  1. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    “A liberal is someone who would rather fuss with the Gordian knot than cut it.” –Robert Frost


  2. Kevin Wymore says:

    I did get a (complementary) chuckle out of the author’s bottom-most line today.

    Thus far, I have actually avoided incarceration arising from a friendly wave to Madison’s finest. No doubt, this is purely due to my northern European ancestry.


  3. richard lesiak says:

    I wouldn’t go as far as to say the committee believes in the “school to prison” pipeline, but our current justice system does have a way of making sure any brush with the law follows you for years. It’s like your car ins. company saying they can’t lower your rates because of the speeding ticket you got 9 years ago. Max sentence, no mercy, hang ’em high laws and DOJ mandates need to be looked at. A joint in your pocket gets you 30 years? Waving to a cop won’t land you in Sing-Sing so you can release your grip on your pearls. Both sides of this issue seem to be over-reacting while the kids (remember them) are the ones people should be concerned about. It seems that people are more creative with their insults to someones perceived political orientation than they are finding solutions.


    • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

      @richard lesiak;

      “It’s like your car ins. company saying they can’t lower your rates because of the speeding ticket you got 9 years ago.”

      We may add insurance that ever-lengthening list of things about which you know less-than-nothing yet upon which you choose to opine notwithstanding.

      “Max sentence, no mercy, hang ’em high laws and DOJ mandates need to be looked at.”

      Thank the Former-Serial-Sexual-Predator-In-Chief, Bill “Three Strikes/Mass Incarceration” Clinton, for those sentences, laws, & mandates.

      While yer at it, thank him for the PRWORA for doubling extreme poverty amongst society’s most fragile, leaving them little choice but to turn to crime, with the OmniBus Crime Act predicates to take care of the rest of it.

      Come to think of it, serial, inveterate, reflex, congenital liar Hillarity was self-anointed co-President at the time, and thus deserving of mention as well, am I right?

      “Both sides of this issue seem to be over-reacting while the kids (remember them) are the ones people should be concerned about.”

      Interesting youse don’t mention parental responsibility. Or is BIG GUBMINT the parents?

      Youse want Both Sides? Here’s Both Sides!

      One side wants to point fingers: White Supremacy, Nazis, White Privilege, White Male Patriarchy, metered/pitch count/rationed/skin-color-based discipline, never hearing NO, equality of outcomes, set asides, race-based standards, “It’s-Not-Yer-Fault-Yer-An-Effin’-Victim-The-World-Owes-You’s-A-Living,” and raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacism.

      The other side emphasizes personal responsibility, respectful/respectable behavior, delayed gratification, maximizing education, equality of opportunity, & hard work.

      Which road is less traveled?

      The Gotch


      • richard lesiak says:

        And what’s your side. How about some solid ideas to fix the problem, or are you just prone to ranting. “Maximizing education and equality of opportunity”? I say get the predators out of the student loan business, give these people a chance to go to school without looking at loan payments for years, refinance. Raise the min wage. That’s only two of my ideas. What are yours? “Personal responsibility, respectful/respectable behavior”? How about the current administration doing some of that. “I only hire the best people”. Yeah; the list of resignations, indictments, plea deals and guilty verdicts prove otherwise. I know what Clinton did and it should be changed, but then the cry of soft on crime goes up. I want my taxes to pay for schools, road repairs, healthcare, etc. Not some con job wall that Mexico was never going to pay for, tax cuts for the rich and billions to farmers because trade wars are easy to win. Even the Koch Bros are jumping off the crazy train and they helped build it.


        • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

          @richard lesiak;

          I say get the predators out of the student loan business, give these people a chance to go to school without looking at loan payments for years, refinance.” (bolds mine)


          You did know this article is about High School & HS students, didn’t youse?

          Who knew they were taking out student loans.

          The Gotch


        • richard lesiak says:

          Like the seniors that hope to go on and get a degree; that’s who. The people who get a degree and can’t finance a car, house or get a nice apt. because they are strapped with loans while scooter keeps cashing donor checks that’s who.


    • Kevin Wymore says:

      Mr. Lesiak: If it’s workable solutions we’re after, how about an effective sergeant-at-arms at major local government meetings, at least at the Common Council, the School Board and the County Board? This person or person — who would not be police — would be empowered to expel persons blatantly interfering with another person’s right to testify or to communicate in an orderly, democratic fashion.

      The radicals’ chants of “get him out / get him out” when another citizen merely testified in the “cops in the schools” committee should trouble all citizens in Madison. And yet this type of objectionable behavior has also occurred at Common Council meetings and at the County Board meetings — with the “Derail the Jail” chant.

      I have publicly called on the Common Council and the Mayor to take action to this effect, and have gotten no effective action or response from either the Mayor or my Alder, Matt Phair.

      One reluctantly concludes that the radicals really do wish to stifle any dissent whatsoever.

      Won’t you join me in getting this workable solution implemented? I look forward to your response.


      • richard lesiak says:

        Sign me up. I agree that these meetings need to be orderly with everyone able to speak their minds. If someone is needed to enforce order; so be it. Nice to see someone presenting an idea to solve a problem without all the ranting and name calling. Carry on.


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