Judging by social media reaction
Madison school board president Gloria Reyes’ about face on cops in schools is roiling social media here on Madison’s southwest side. My informal count of comments on the NextDoor social media site shows support for school resource officers running about six to one. Some trenchant comments (last names redacted except for two well known MMSD people) and their neigborhoods:
Bonnie • Midvale Heights — Yes I do have a child in high school so this feels very real to me. I hear the stories from my daughter, receive all the emails and alerts from the school … and see with my own eyes the situations. I understand the fear that some African-American students in particular may have, especially in our current reality, but these SROs are trained for these realities and specifically for this school environment. My biggest fear is a school shooter (who history would predict would be a white male) and that is one huge reason I like an armed person on the campus. To protect and defend all students.
Robert Baudhuin • Nakoma — When I was Principal at Sherman Middle School 1999-2001, we had one of the first SRO’s ever in a MMSD middle school. … The year prior to my tenure at Sherman, there had been more than 100 calls for service to the MPD, 18 expulsion recommendations, and more than 1000 suspensions, so the community definitely saw a need. We also had two social workers, two guidance counselors, two learning coordinators, a school psychologist, and a security guard. ..
Police brutality is one thing, but what’s wrong with our communities is an even more important issue. We can easily rein in the police, but without equal opportunity, education, mobility, nutrition and safety, it won’t make a difference.
Aidan • Nakoma — I’m a current West student and I think this idea is absolutely stupid. Obviously police reform is needed at some of its most fundamental levels, but removing police from schools is not the way to make change. I know I’d feel extremely unsafe at school if we didn’t have one. Recently a kid brought a gun to West in his backpack and guess who was there to arrest him, the SRO.
Deb • Meadowood — Last night I talked to a retiring school teacher who has been teaching for 37 yrs in Madison. She is totally afraid of what will happen. She has had unruly students who have frightened the whole class and have had to be taken out of the classroom so they would not hurt anyone or destroy the classroom. She has been threatened by students and fights have broken out, only to have security break up these fights. Weapons have been found on persons and security have taken them away. Who will do this if the security guards are not there? Who will break up the fights in schools?
BTW: This is in an elementary school, not high school.
Robert & Peggy • Midvale Heights — Have a grandson at Memorial …and He likes having the officers there…!! I feel it would be a huge mistake to remove them. … SROs know the kids and the buildings. … Madison Police are excellent…most are highly educated and the training is ongoing. If SRO are removed then outside officers rushing to an emergency will be confronted by a confusing building and hundreds of panicked students and staff. Not good.
Paul du Vair • Arbor Hills — Police in our high schools are there to protect students and staff from outsiders AND FROM STUDENTS THEMSELVES. I taught at East High for 30+ years and it was our great principal, Milton McPike, who welcomed the police into our building. Excellent move. No one loved students more than Milt.
Context and nuance
Louis • Dudgeon Monroe — What happens when guns and knives appear?
Kristen • Meadowood — It would probably depend on the context. Is it being brandished and use as a threat or just being carried throughout the school, or is it found in a locker or backpack? Context is important, though obviously I think we would all prefer there not be any there at all, in any context.
Louis • Dudgeon Monroe — Might not be time to consider “context.”
We give the final word to Tom • Midvale Heights — As soon as the last teacher is assaulted by a student or group of students, and the last weapon enters a school in the hands of a student, then the SROs can be removed. Until then, I believe they are necessary.
Deserving of mention; the Pro-SRO folks are for the most part grounded and lucid with their statements and position.
While some of the Anti-SRO folks are as well, most of them come off like the following:
M.L. Regent: no militarism in schools – security…policing…& military recruiting is not a place for students trying to concentrate on their work. In some students it creates fear & stress all day long…. Cut it out. We have teachers that need to teach not police and we need our police to be IN THE COMMUNITY not roaming around our classroom halls.
It would have been nice if M.L. Regent would also have mentioned that “we need parents to parent”. Fear and stress? How about kids walking the halls, interrupting classes and attacking teachers. Regent needs to look outside today and realize that there are no snowflakes.
Its Social Justice, Madison. The Woke Vanguard need not listen to the racist proletariat. They voted in a White Supremacist mayor. Majorities mean nothing to the Revolution.
It really depends on the school. The middle and high schools that I attended as a student had numerous police officers. It was fine. I wasn’t afraid of them.
I also want to mention that Columbine high school has had police officers in it since before the infamous massacre. In fact, the day of the massacre, the school police officer was the first officer on scene. After only two students had been killed, he jumped in exchanging gunfire with Eric Harris. Ultimately, Harris escaped into the building unharmed, but who can say how many students got away with their lives while he was distracted by the school’s cop?
Then again, I used to work as a substitute teacher. I’ve worked in middle schools WITH cops and without cops. Some schools just don’t need them. It should be up to the school to determine if they need police presence. In some small tight-knit schools where fights are incredibly rare, police officers would seem out of place and probably frighten students. Leave it up to the schools to determine if and when they need police.
Too true but you are speaking functional. SJWs are speaking form.
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Don’t I know it. But that’s what spaces like this are for, right? To take a break from the lunacy and speak from a place of common sense?
I just don’t want to see people go too far in the other direction and start saying all schools need cops either. That’s not the case. Principals and the local community know their schools best.
So power to the people? Nah. Its Madison, Jake.
Juvy -Thus far principals may-may not know their schools best…. Are you up-to-date RE: the recent principals that had no clue at all, B/C they were never there? Ultimately they were fired/got-gone? And RE: the “local community”. Does Ms. Grayson, Freedom, Inc. and the other loud voices shout louder to you than the parents and students concerns? Parents and students seem frightened as it is -how would they feel if SRO’s weren’t there -bereft. I think ya need to get up to speed on the current situation.
In some small tight-knit schools where fights are incredibly rare, police officers would seem out of place and probably frighten students.
It is doubtful police would frighten the students in such a school. What you describe are students from the non-feral portion of society with functional family units. Of course with a little work I’m sure the teaching profession can help the children see the police as evil.
Don’t get me wrong though. I’m entirely in favor of removing police from schools. The idiot teachers and parents of Madison voted for this. Maybe, when the children and teachers are victimized by the savages enough, some opinions will change. Doubtful though, as there seems to be nothing that wipes away the sin of being white and not a scumbag.
Take a good long look at the current condition of State St.
The socialist anarchist crazies want it to look like that forever. The entire street, boarded up from the Capitol to Library Mall, looks like Detroit and some in that crowd would prefer it be Beirut. Whether it’s misspelled profanities or pathetic attempts at “street art” barely concealing boarded-up windows, all there is up and down that street now is the stench of destruction and hatred.
Never in a million years did I think I would’ve longed for The Gap and Starbucks but here we are.
It’s a disgrace and a stain on Madison and Wisconsin.
And for what???
Up to 40 businesses, maybe more, may never reopen. Get used to it. As for me, my walk down State St. last week will be my last visit for a long time if the crazies and their cowardly enablers have their way.
I will spend my money elsewhere.
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well shoot….. sorry folks…. this comment was meant for another post.
Doesn’t matter in which post it nests Adam, your point couldn’t be more clear, or cogent!
Not sure whether to label this pathetic, or sad; not with a bang, but a whimper.
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Mr. Du Vair is spot on and the Honerable Mr. McPike is spinning in his grave. As a youth at East High in the early 90s I recall McPike personally escorting a bad egg to an awaiting squad car. The man commanded respect and knew every one of his students by their first name. The disruptive and problem kids wouldn’t dare go to school because they knew their antics weren’t going to fly. Times were different though, Mr. McPike was the law and not someone to be trifled with. Even Mr. Du Vair pulled me aside once in biology class and gave a harsh assessment of my future if I didn’t start applying myself. At the time I took offense but in hindsight it got my slacker ass to graduate. You definitely can’t replace educators of this high quality. So yeah SROs are needed in the schools. It will get worse and more people will be victimized by this misguided Uber left experiment.
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Well put Mr. White; we are too soon old, and too late smart!
The inimitable Batman once intoned: “Is there a Thomas Sowell in Madison?”
There used to be the next best thing, regrettably Mr. McPike is no longer with us.
To paraphrase the immortal words of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz: “If every school had one of him and a Wally Schoessow (my former FB coach & a pal) and their female equivalents, our troubles here would be over very quickly.”
‘Course, they’d suffer the wrath of local Lefties because they wouldn’t advocate for feel-good/diversity-centric/self-esteem curricula or equal outcomes over equal opportunity.
‘Course, they wouldn’t given a toss; they were pleasing results guys rather than the pleasing methods type.
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Yep we need more Batman and less participation trophies! Well said as well Gotch. Having no McPike types in the schools is making the kids too soft.
I think the power of the Looney Left in Madison is a mile wide and an inch deep. Ditto the PC culture in general. As they have no history but rather a Party Line which can do a 180 on a dime they don’t remember 1968 in America, Paris etc.
Extra credit for anyone that can name one of the many “hero revolutionaries” of that era who had a good life.