Try though they did the last two years, the Madison School Board committee headed by current and former School Board members Dean Loumos and AnnaMarie Moffit could not expel police from Madison’s troubled public high schools. Those darn headlines kept getting in the way.
It wasn’t cops who sprayed bullets in the neighborhood surrounding La Follette High School on lunch break Sept. 26. Cops did not shoot up the bus leaving the high school the week before. The toll: Three young people injured, three schools on lock-down, a school district traumatized.
Cops did not start the cafeteria brawl at West High on Oct. 1. The school education resource officer and a district staffer were injured. (Who is going to protect the police from the students?)
As recently as July 18, Moffit and Loumos moved (or seconded) motions to “phase out the educational resource officer (ERO) program as it currently exists.” As Progressive Dane stalwarts, they were only making common cause with the Derail the Jail coalition that shut down the Dane County Board last November.
In its final recommendation, the Loumos-Moffit committee discovered many students “whose needs are not being met.” They blamed police. “The presence of EROs can needlessly contribute to the criminalization of student behavior and negatively affect students’ sense of safety and belonging.” (Just their very presence!) Tell that to the students and staff hunkered down by gunfire.
Failing to expel cops instead of troublemakers, the Loumos-Moffit committee inserted several poison pills designed to force the removal of police EROs from schools.
Practically no locker searches without a warrant. Invite the ACLU to teach students their criminal justice rights. Hide the police squad car (better a Prius with one of those “Co-Exist” stickers).
Worse, Loumos and Moffit demand school cops be trained in “de-escalation, trauma-informed interventions, adolescent brain development” and the school district’s dense “Behavior Education Plan.” Name the school principal trained in all those disciplines. Not exactly You Tube webinar stuff.
Most egregiously, Loumos-Moffit want an ERO/cop review committee “with an emphasis on representing youth who are the most cited, suspended or expelled ... are or have been involved with the juvenile justice system.” In other words: Put the troublemakers in judgment of the peacemakers. What an insult.
No police chief could bow to such outrageous demands, which is the point: Make Chief Mike Koval the bad guy. He killed EROs, not Loumos or Moffit.
The full Madison School Board likely will consider this Blame the Police legislation at 6 p.m. on Oct. 29. Those of us parents who have spoken against such nonsense have been physically harassed by the social justice warriors. (After the July 18 meeting, Chief Koval remarked, “Their choreographed and orchestrated show of force is daunting and meant to intimidate.”)
Which begs the question: If the Madison School District cannot keep peace at its meetings, how can it prevent chaos in its schools?