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Education Committee Dems React to School Crime Bills PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kristina Shelton Press   
Wednesday, 15 March 2023 09:18

school-resource-officer-2023AB 53 and AB 69, school crime reporting and school resource officer (SRO) use bills voted on Tuesday in Assembly “target Wisconsin’s larger communities” and do not offer solutions.

MADISON - Tuesday, the Wisconsin Legislature voted on AB 53 and AB 69, a school crime reporting bill and school resource officer (SRO) use in school bill respectively. Wisconsin Assembly Democrats resoundingly rejected these bills because they have faulty funding sources, put undue burden on schools and school districts, and will not accomplish the goals set forth in the bills. Democratic members of the Assembly Committee on Education gave the following remarks on the two bills.

dave-considineRepresentative Dave Considine (D - Baraboo) comments on AB53:

“Our schools are a reflection of our communities. This bill is targeting schools located in communities that are affected by increased levels of violence. Rather than punishing these schools, we need to address the specific needs of our schools. We must instead increase access to mental healthcare in our schools, to help those who need it most.”

Representative Deb Andraca (D - Whitefish Bay) comments on AB53:

“There is nothing more important than keeping our schools safe, but this is a bill that schools don’t want, law enforcement doesn’t need, and parents won’t benefit from. Instead of advancing evidence-based school safety practices this bill takes decision-making power away from our local elected school boards.”

lakeshia-myersRepresentative LaKeshia Myers (D - Milwaukee) comments on AB69:

“The decision to have School Resources Officers is one that rests within the jurisdiction of locally elected school boards.  The legislature should not overreach and dictate to municipalities how to operate their schools.  AB69 has less to do with school safety and more to do with singling out Milwaukee Public Schools and Madison Metropolitan School District.  Instead of fear mongering, Republicans should come to the table with realistic legislative goals that would help students and districts across the board, not bills like this that perpetuate ‘big city fear’.”

Representative Francesca Hong (D - Madison) comments on AB69:

“AB 69 brings up serious implementation concerns. It is an improper use of federal funds and its changes in allocation would have to go through the treasury. But most importantly, it creates an illusion of safety. Our kids don’t need handcuffs, they need resources.”

kristina-sheltonRepresentative Shelton (D - Green Bay) comments on both AB53 and AB69:

“If we want to deter crime in schools we must address the root causes of crime and fully fund mental and behavioral health professionals and teachers in our school system. What the Assembly Republicans did on the floor today was take away local control from our school boards and tack on unfunded mandates. School safety starts with fully funded public schools, accessible quality healthcare, and strong healthy communities.”

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