Monday, November 30, 2020

Police in Schools - Speak Out

Cia Siab, Inc. supports removing SROs from the School District of La Crosse. BIPOC youth should be able to feel safe and be safe at school.

Support our demand to remove SROs from schools by sending a letter to the La Crosse Board of Education. Or, register to speak at the December 7th La Crosse Board of Education meeting at 6pm
by calling 608-789-7659.

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From La Crosse Waking up White:

On 11/16/18  Dr. Engel, superintendent of La Crosse School District gave his recommendations/report to the La Crosse School Board concerning School Resource Officers. 

Here is his full report.

The School Board will vote on whether to change the present contract with School resource officers on Dec. 21st 6 pm meeting.  If you want to have input you can register to speak at the Dec. 7th, 6pm School Board meeting by calling 789-7659

Here is the "summary" of Dr. Engel's report:
School-to-Prison Pipeline: Key findings show that the markers of the school-to-prison pipeline are present in the School District of La Crosse.
1. The School District of La Crosse relies on exclusionary discipline at higher rates than other school districts.
2. The School District of La Crosse disproportionately disciplines and suspends students of color, students in poverty, male students, and students with disabilities.
3. Juvenile arrests occur at higher rates in the City of La Crosse than in comparable cities.
4. Black juveniles are disproportionately arrested in the City of La Crosse.
5. Graduation rates for Black students and students with disabilities have declined while graduation rates for reference groups have grown or stayed the same, expanding graduation gaps. 
6. The La Crosse SRO program is staffed and funded at a higher rate than other comparable school districts.   
RECOMMENDATIONS The School District of La Crosse is committed to providing an educational environment where all students and families are safe, welcome, and included. Therefore the District must shift away from punitive disciplinary practices, the criminalization of students and actions that contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline. To achieve this, the following actions are recommended: 
1. Develop and implement School District of La Crosse philosophies and disciplinary practices that reduce punitive approaches to student misbehavior and eliminate the criminalization of students. 
 2. Develop and implement School District of La Crosse philosophies and practices that lead to proportionate disciplinary and arrest outcomes for historically marginalized students.
 3. Expand and shift to therapeutic and restorative practices for students who have challenges with behavior. 
4. Expand proactive social service resources within the School District.
 5. Reduce the ongoing, routine presence of SROs in school buildings while retaining consistency of responding officers. 

6. Establish an SRO Oversight Committee  

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Letter to Editor (La Crosse Tribune, Sunday, November 29, 2020)

Recently, the Tribune opined that police should remain in our schools. Asking if the school community is better off with police, they concluded, “We haven't heard anything that says otherwise.”


Clearly, someone is not listening. Recent public programs have highlighted students, teachers, counselors, and parents telling us that police in schools cause stress, harm students' educational experiences and attainment, feed the school to prison pipeline, sometimes act inappropriately, apply different standards to white and non-white students, and require funds that could pay for more education professionals.

The Tribune said that police in schools have been a success. But the testimony, statistics, and research presented don't point to success.

This kind of non-listening keeps bad policies, inequality, and racism in place. Dismissing others' experiences because they don't fit with a preferred world view, closes off opportunities to improve how things work. Ignoring the facts because they may upset the way it's always been blocks change and inclusion.

The superintendent's recommendation to keep police in the schools after all the testimony, studies and data, was very disappointing and, to me, cowardly. People are telling us that this program causes stress, harm, and pain. Listen.

I hope the school board has the courage to listen to those whose lives are adversely affected by this unnecessary and harmful program. I hope they will remove police from our schools and use the money to hire teachers and counselors whose goal is to assure the best educational outcome for every student.

Cathy Van Maren, La Crosse


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