The Milwaukee school board has decided put the brakes on a proactive program that has allowed Milwaukee police officers to meet with students in classroom settings for the past few years, to help them better understand law enforcement and stay out of trouble.
Many critics attacked the program for various reasons, and asked the school board to end it.
The STOP program (Students Talking it Over with Police), “was designed to bring students ages 12 to 17 closer to law enforcement in a positive way and familiarize themselves with police practices,” the Journal Sentinel reported.
One parent was upset because students were asked to pledge that they would follow curfew laws, and never run from, fight with or argue with police, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“It teaches students the police are correct and that the problem is really the youth,” Lorraine Malcoe, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, told the Journal Sentinel. “It teaches students not to question authority.”
Some would say that more respect for authority might be a healthy thing in Milwaukee schools, considering the district’s track record.
In a statement released from MPS officials concluded that the program “could be improved.” They said the curriculum needed to be more age appropriate, role-playing skits needed to be more sensitive to students who have experienced trauma, and the possibility of police misconduct needed to be addressed.
The Milwaukee school district also has a history of frequent police calls to its various campuses. A 2014 study conducted by School Choice Wisconsin found that police were summoned to MPS schools 8,762 times in 2010-11, 12,910 times in 2011-12 and 11,751 times in 2012-13.
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