The Asian American Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison stands in solidarity with those campaigning for Police-Free Schools. We support the demand by youth of color that the Madison School Board take immediate action to terminate the Madison Metropolitan School District’s contract with the Madison Police Department and put an end to the school-to-prison pipeline that funnels our youths out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. We urge the Board to demand that legislators restore funding to schools and invest in counselors over cops and over the use of teachers as de facto security guards.
Police do not make students, staff, or teachers safer. Instead, police in schools criminalize youth behavior and disproportionately subject students of color, and Black students in particular, to courts and incarceration. We need to reinvest police dollars in staff trained to address the social and material needs of our students, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic that has upended their lives, depriving them of stability and predictability.
Cities across the United States, including Minneapolis, Portland, Denver, Seattle and Oakland have decided they will no longer employ police within the schools.
Madison must join them.