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School board votes to remove police from Madison schools

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Madison Metropolitan School District

MADISON (WKOW) -- For years, activists have called on Madison's school district to remove police from schools, and the past month has been filled with protests pushing that cause.

At a special board meeting Monday, the Madison school board voted unanimously to end its contract with the Madison Police Department for school resource officers, effective immediately.

There had been four school resource officers, or SROs, at Madison Metropolitan School District.

Opponents of the SRO program say the presence of police in schools negatively impacts students of color and makes them feel unsafe.

Police and supporters say SROs have specific training that makes them better suited to dealing with issues that arise at schools.

Madison Board of Education

The Madison school board is meeting to discuss its contract with Madison police for school resource officers. Reaction to the board's decision, on 27 News at 5.

Posted by WKOW 27 on Monday, June 29, 2020

Freedom, Inc. is one of the groups that has been pushing for the move. M Adams with Freedom, Inc. says they want the district to invest money that had been set aside for the SRO program into programs that will boost the wellness, creativity and academics of Black youth.

"We want to shift those resources to thinking how are we actually going to invest in black youth, how are we actually going to make our schools just and equitable and the site of true learning, the site of true community engagement for our young people instead of steadily being in a place where we're dealing with just terrible racial disparities as it comes to achievement for black students," Adams told 27 News.

In other action Monday, board president Gloria Reyes announced that discussion on MMSD’s Employee Handbook will be removed from agenda for the regular Board of Education meeting later this evening.

The change is to provide additional direction and allow for more discussion and collaboration with stakeholders prior to any board discussion and subsequent action on employee handbook changes, according to a school district statement.

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