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One week into La Crosse School Board committee’s work on resource officers

Rick Solem

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It’s been a week since the La Crosse School Board agreed to form a committee as a first step into looking into School Resource Officers (SROs).

School Board President, Dr. Laurie Cooper Stoll, clarified on WIZM exactly what the committee is doing — or, actually, isn’t doing for two more weeks.

“The Ad Hoc Fund committee is not doing an evaluation of the SRO program,” she said. “I just want to make that explicit. They are not charged with gathering any data.”

Part of what the members on the committee are doing is gathering questions the board has received on the SRO program, that’s run by the La Crosse Police Department.

“Just organizing those questions,” Cooper Stoll said. “And, if the school board charges the superintendent with gathering answers to those questions, this committee is also just compiling a list of stakeholders that the superintendent wouldn’t be limited to but that we certainly would want to make sure were included.

“It’s just a matter of school board members being able to say, ‘Hey it’s really important that we reach out to students.’ … ‘Hey, we need to make sure when we gather this information that we talk to administrators that have SROs in their building,’ Cooper Stoll continued. “That’s all that is. It’s a starting point. It’s not an endpoint.”

The $250,000 contract with the La Crosse Police Department for SROs ends in June. The police department and La Crosse Schools have had a relationship since 1993.

The school’s contract with the SRO program ends in June. Cooper Stoll said neither she, nor have any others, have called for ending that contract early.

“We’re actually starting the process now, to be able to make sure there is time to gather this information,” Cooper Stoll said, adding a day into the formation of the committee, they already had 100 emails from the community in regards to the SRO program.

The members who volunteer to be on the committee are Dawn Comeau, Pelli Lee, Shaundel Spivey. Those three do all the leg work, while Cooper Stoll, who is a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, is the “convener,” which basically brings the group together.

To contact anyone on the La Crosse School Board, click here.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM and "liberal hack" | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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