School board president weighs in on how the Waukesha school shooting affects SRO debate in Madison

The report of a school resource officer stepping in and stifling a shooting in Waukesha will likely play a part in the decision the Madison Metropolitan School Board has to make next year when members will vote whether to keep all four SROs in the local high schools.

Board President Gloria Reyes said she can’t ignore these shootings when it comes to the discussion of having the officers in schools.

“I hate to say the reality, but until we have stricter gun laws and we are able to better protect our children, SROs and law enforcement, our first responders are a critical partner in this,” she said.

Reyes said the decision has to be balanced with the effects students of color see from having police officers at school.

“We don’t want to use our SROs for every incident that occurs in our schools, and we have to be mindful that we are not disproportionately impacting our black and brown kids,” Reyes said.

She’s not sure how exactly Monday’s shooting will play into a vote in June, when school board members can decide to get rid of one of the high school resource officers.

Three board members voted against the option to renew an SRO contract early this year – though it still narrowly passed 4 to 3. One of the supporters has since left the board, which could tip the vote the other way.

This vote would be the second opportunity the board had to cut an SRO from a high school. In September, the board chose to keep them all in place.

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