Milwaukee Board of School Directors President Michael Bonds has called a second special session of the Board to deal with the topic of youth violence in the city. The session will be Saturday, March 10, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at MPS Central Services, 5225 W. Vliet Street, in the auditorium.
The Board previously sponsored a session on the topic on February 28, a Tuesday evening. It was a standing-room only crowd, and some students and members of the community did not get a chance to speak. “We knew we needed to offer another chance for our partners, staff, families and kids to speak out,” said Dr. Bonds. “This issue is just so important, given how the troubles of Milwaukee’s struggling neighborhoods often filter into our schools, disrupting our educational mission.”
Recent crime statistics for Milwaukee show that while homicides are down, incidents of shooting injuries are up, with higher crime numbers in neighborhoods where poverty is also an issue. MPS has lost four students to street violence since late December, and fights between some students in or outside MPS schools have led the district to take disciplinary actions.
Members of our community can read more about the issue by visiting the district homepage at http://mpsportal.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/ and clicking on the green bar at the top. It’s the one that says “School Climate and Safety in Milwaukee: A Call for Community Action”. A simple click of the mouse brings up a web page featuring MPS’ recent outreach to the community about the issue of youth violence. There are many ways to get involved, including mentoring a child, providing employment, or helping the district to celebrate student success by providing incentives or awards. The web page features a form for volunteering time.