Special meeting to focus on youth safety and a call for community action

MILWAUKEEThe Milwaukee Board of School Directors will convene for a special full Board meeting on Tuesday, February 28, at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium of MPS Central Services, 5225 W. Vliet Street.

There is a single agenda item:  the status of school climate and safety in MPS:  A call for community action. Creating safe communities for youth in the city of Milwaukee is a continuing concern.  Since late December, four MPS students have lost their lives in violent incidents on Milwaukee city streets.  Recent citywide crime statistics show more youthful offenders involved in robberies, and some community leaders say heightened poverty and joblessness may be causing more youths to act out in anger.  “We are seeing more reason for concern for the continued safety and wellbeing of young people in Milwaukee, both in and out of school,” said School Board President Michael Bonds.

In calling for Tuesday’s special meeting, Dr. Bonds asked the Administration to prepare a presentation that sums up the resources and supports that the district currently provides, including Restorative Justice circles and other forms of peer mediation, the PBIS framework (Positive Behaviors Interventions and Support) and programs provided in partnership with outside partners, including violence prevention initiatives.

“But we also are sending out a call to action”, said Superintendent Gregory Thornton.  “The problems facing our children are not problems that MPS alone can address.  There is a great deal more that our children need from their families, their neighborhoods, and from elected leaders and business people.”  Superintendent Thornton joined Board President Bonds in asking members of the greater community to attend Tuesday’s session, and make a commitment to support the youth of Milwaukee during a challenging time.