Madison Teachers Inc. calls for removal of school resource officers, more mental health resources

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison teachers’ union called for the removal of school resources officers, or SROs, in a statement Sunday afternoon.

According to a news release, Madison Teachers Inc. is asking for the removal of all SROs from the city’s four high schools.

The release said the caveat is that it should only occur when all four high schools are properly staffed with counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses and mental health specialists.

In a statement, MTI President Andy Waity said: “If we remove police officers from our schools, but do not adequately staff those same schools with social workers, nurses, counselors, and psychologists, we are perpetuating harm upon our most vulnerable young people. If we are serious about being anti-racist as a Madison community, we must fully support our students, not just by subtracting one group, but significantly adding another.”

MTI demanded that the issues are not solved through staff reduction or salary cuts, since “this work cannot be done on the backs of educators and staff.”

A full list of MTI’s demands can be seen in their statement here.

Last week, protesters placed Black Lives Matters signs and dozens of American flags decorated with anti-police messages on the lawn of Madison School Board President Gloria Reyes, according to her Facebook Live video.

Reyes told News 3 Now that she got into policing to try and fix the way communities of color are treated by police and called for taking police out of school on Friday.

A spokesperson for Madison Metropolitan School District said the leadership at all four high schools indicated they were not interested in getting rid of their officers.