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More schools ending contracts with local police departments

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Posted at 3:52 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 16:25:34-04

In a vote Thursday night, the Milwaukee Public School board voted to end their contract with the Milwaukee Police Department. The $478,000 yearly contract allowed for the schools to have up to six officers available to respond to incidents on school grounds.

Protesters were asking that the money go toward helping students in other ways. Students and parents expressed concerns about school leadership's willingness to call the police when something happened.

"We had senior pranks. I don’t think the police should have been called for our senior prank. Bringing eggs and toilet tissue to school. There shouldn’t be police outside of school giving us tickets for doing our senior prank,” said Madison Walker who attended Rufus King High School.

Milwaukee has become the latest school district to end formal relationships with local police departments or stop school resource officer programs.

In early June, the Minneapolis Public School Board voted unanimously to end their contract with Minneapolis police to have officers on campuses. Portland, Oregon followed soon after. Just last week, Denver, Seattle and two districts in the Oakland area voted to end their formal relationships with local police.

Time Magazine reported the presence of officers on school campuses has increased in the last two decades, partially because of the increase in school shootings since the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

Prior to Thursday's vote in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Police Department issued a statement.

"We agree with the many voices from our community who believe that the funding should be reinvested into our public school system to support social services. Regardless of the vote, MPD will continue to support MPS and MPS students," they wrote.

This story was originally reported by Julia Marshall on TMJ4.com.