Protesters march on Milwaukee Public School’s central office demanding change. They want MPS to end its contract with Milwaukee Police and that money to go to other resources.
According to the Black Educators Caucus, MPS has a contract with the Milwaukee Police Department for $478,000 a year. The caucus is a group that represents minority educators at MPS. They say that money goes to having six specially trained officers available to respond to school incidents. The Black Educators Caucus and some of the protestors want that money to go to supporting students in other ways.
“When you talk about redirecting those funds, we want those funds more directed to social workers and counselors and put it more into restorative justice practices and conflict resolution and peer mediation practices,” said organizer Khalil Coleman who also works as a vendor to MPS.
Some MPS parents and students were also out protesting, concerned about how quickly school leaders are willing to call the police, especially on minority students.
“We had senior pranks. I don’t think the police should have been called for our senior prank. Bringing eggs and toilet tissue to school. There shouldn’t be police outside of school giving us tickets for doing our senior prank,” said Madison Walker who attended Rufus King High School.
In 2018, federal officials found Milwaukee Public School had disciplined students differently depending on their race. Black students faced harsher punishment than their white peers according to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.
MPS signed an agreement with federal leaders to work to change its practices to end the discipline disparity. But, protesters say little has changed especially when it comes to their children.
“My sister and her children, they have had issues with the cops coming to the schools as opposed to talking to a child and working with them. They automatically write up a student and they send them out right away,” said Priscilla Warren who’s daughter and family attend MPS.
MPS has a special meeting to discuss the police contract on Thursday.