Madison Schools Want More Control of Police on Campus

Here’s a name that’s a blast from the past.

School Board President Mary Burke said she wants to work collaboratively with MPD on the contract.

“We take very seriously the fact that as a school district, we are ultimately responsible for the adults who interact with our students, and in the unlikely event that an issue arises, we want to be able to work collaboratively with MPD to address it,” Burke said in an email. “We believe that is a reasonable and responsible request, and we’re looking forward to further discussion.”

Here’s what they are fighting over:

Though the Madison School Board approved an amended contract Monday that would keep police officers in the city’s four main high schools, Police Chief Mike Koval said Tuesday that he’ll never agreed to the new language.

“We had never agreed (nor will I ever agree) to language regarding the ability to remove an officer for ’cause,'” Koval said in a blog post. “The School District floated this language out last week and it was made unequivocally clear that I would not agree to this language.”

The School Board voted unanimously to adopt the amended language, which would give the district the authority to remove a police officer — described in the contract as a school resource officer or SRO — from school if they found cause. The amended contract itself was approved by a 4-2 vote.

“I will reiterate that the processes for disciplining or assigning officers are governed by state law and labor contract, and these rights cannot be bargained away in an agreement with a third party,” Koval wrote. “We have always worked cooperatively with MMSD to select our resource officers and to address any areas of improvement. However, the law does not permit us to pre-determine discipline through the contract language that was suggested.”