On Tuesday December 18, host Aaron Perry spoke with Luis Yudice, the Coordinator of School Safety and Security for the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). They speak about school safety and safety measures here in Madison, following the disaster that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Luis Yudice, who retired as captain at the police department, now works for the school district overseeing the safety programs in the fifty different schools in the district.
Luis speaks about the security measures at the schools. The MMSD contracts with the Madison Police Department to provide for school resource officers, posting one in each high school. There is also a staff of thirty school security assistants, “these are civilian, unarmed employees that we train. And we really train them in the art of talking, engaging kids in a positive way, every morning getting to know names, because that’s what’s really critical.” Luis also explains a challenge that comes with ensuring strict safety measures, “We always have to maintain a balance between providing for the safety of our students while not creating a climate that resembles a correctional institution or a fortress in our schools, because that’s also counterproductive.”
He speaks about a recently instated program, “Crisis Management and Intervention,” training 1,000 staff members so far on how to temper school conflict and forge stronger relationships with the students to allow for more open communication. Luis speaks about the ‘reasonable measures’ the district takes to ensure student safety. “A response to a critical incident is only one part of what we do. We emphasize working at the front end of the problem. We encourage teachers, students to come forward with any information regarding any threats – and we have been quite successful with that. That enables us to begin to work with the problem. We work with the police department, other schools, community agencies… We try and get ahead of the problem before it becomes a full blown crisis. That’s what we tend to emphasize in the MMSD.”
Visit the Madison Metropolitan School District website.
Listen to the entire interview here: