MILWAUKEE -- Roughly 500 parents, students and community members have shown up to anti-violence meetings, in response to a rash of violence involving Milwaukee Public Schools students. So far, four students have been killed since December, and dozens have been involved in fights.
The meetings rallied hundreds of volunteers for the district, in the form of mentors, tutors and safety officers, among other positions. School board members believe more want to serve, but aren't allowed to because they are felons. MPS leaders want to try and break down those barriers and relax their policy on felons serving as volunteers.
"There may be people who have been convicted of felonies in years past," School Board President Michael Bonds said. 'The nature of the felony may not be as bad as some other felonies, that we might want to consider exploring options for them to volunteer."
Bonds went on to say that serious offenders would not be allowed in the program - only some felons. They would be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.
Reuben Anderson came to Saturday's meeting with the same idea. He believes many more people would be supporting MPS if it weren't for past mistakes. "I, myself have been convicted of a felony. It does not reflect who I am today. That mindset ten years ago was something else. I believe that the policies can prevent good people from coming in and doing what is necessary to try and help our kids," Anderson said.
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