The Kenosha Unified Faculty District board heard a spread of neighborhood reactions Tuesday night time to an incident that has drawn nationwide consideration.
A KUSD safety guard and off-duty police officer was caught on video restraining a 12-year-old woman by placing his knee on her neck for greater than 20 seconds. The woman had been combating with one other scholar when Shawn Guetschow intervened.
Guetschow resigned from his job at Lincoln Center Faculty, however that hasn’t quelled fury over the incident.
Throughout the first common faculty board meeting because the March 4 Lincoln Center Faculty incident, not one of the board members spoke about it.
However the neighborhood did. Alvin Owens, who runs a neighborhood youth nonprofit, stated it was unacceptable that some Kenoshans appear extra upset about masks mandates than this. KUSD dropped its masks requirement final week.
“Final assembly there was extra discuss masks than the officer who knelt on the neck of a 12-year-old feminine scholar who additionally occurs to be Black,” Owens stated. “Kenosha would have flipped the other way up had this occurred to a white little one, male or feminine. As a substitute we noticed the identical outdated, usual feedback putting blame on a Black youth and the neighborhood she comes from.”
Dominique Pritchett referred to as for the varsity district to raised serve college students of coloration by addressing disproportionate self-discipline. As a therapist, she stated college students have been speaking to her about how they’re processing the Lincoln incident.
“Our Black and brown women don’t really feel seen, secure or supported to go to highschool,” Pritchett stated. “If our youngsters are dysregulated, it interrupts their complete system. However we anticipate our youngsters to take a seat down nearly or in-person and abide by guidelines, be a quantity and comply with go well with when adults usually are not even main by instance.”
Activists from Burlington and Milwaukee additionally spoke, and referred to as for KUSD to finish contracts with the police division.
KUSD didn’t instantly present its police contracts for this story. However based on budget documents, the district is spending greater than $300,000 this yr on safety and police.
Due to potential authorized motion, the district has declined to reply questions on whether or not it plans to make modifications to its staffing, insurance policies or procedures.
Some residents spoke in favor of preserving contracts for college useful resource officers, together with Robert Tierney.
“Can we not need officers who select to work with younger folks?” Tierney stated. “Who stroll the halls and faculty grounds all through the day? Who function position fashions and construct belief to allow them to stem disputes earlier than they escalate? Scholar and trainer security needs to be a prime precedence for KUSD. Mother and father mustn’t fear about violence after they drop their youngsters off at college.”
One other speaker, Invoice Weathersby, stated he works at Tremper Excessive Faculty and helps SROs.
“I can inform on report, if SROs get pulled, I’ll not be working within the district,” Weathersby stated. “It might’t be carried out.”
Weathersby stated the duty for what occurred at Lincoln Center Faculty needs to be on the woman’s mother and father.
The woman’s father, Jerrel Perez, spoke to the media final week, saying his daughter is traumatized and receiving medical remedy for her accidents. He’s calling for legal expenses towards Guetschow, who remains to be employed by the police division.
Residents’ reactions to the Lincoln Center Faculty incident may play a job within the upcoming faculty board election April 5. Audio system at Tuesday’s assembly repeatedly urged folks to vote.
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