Rufus King shooting in Milwaukee, MPS responds to parents’ frustrations

Milwaukee Public Schools leaders participated in a Monday, Feb. 7 town hall at Rufus King High School after five people were shot and killed outside of a Feb. 1 basketball game. Parents on the call said they were frustrated with what they call a lack of communication from school staff.

MPS administrators explain the communication process and crisis response.

“A shooting occurred on the grounds of Rufus King, and that is what the families should have been told,” said parent Michael Dudor. “It’s really time to wake up to this stuff.”

Shooting scene near Rufus King High School, Milwaukee

Police say a social media dispute escalated into a fight outside of school during a women’s basketball game and ended when a man pulled out a gun and began to shoot. The 34-year-old from Milwaukee surrendered days later.

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As events unfolded, the parents said they felt like they had been left in the dark.

“The failure of immediate reactive MPS communication perpetuates the idea that violence in Milwaukee is normal and expected,” said parent Stephanie Dugan.

As MPS leaders listened, they also noted the policies and procedures in place and said they only wanted to send out accurate information.

Shooting scene near Rufus King High School, Milwaukee

“One of the things we need to do as a district is get clear communication of exactly what happened,” said Superintendent Keith Posley. “We don’t want to send information that we don’t have the details of.”

Mental health was another area of ​​concern expressed at the town hall, with violence in the community taking its toll on students. MPS leaders encouraged students to seek support and use the resources available in high school.

“What we learned from this particular piece is that maybe we should start activating the district team of psychologists when we have incidents like this,” Posley said.

Students at Rufus King High School stage a walkout against violence after five people are shot dead.

MPS leaders said the questions and answers will be uploaded and sent to the community in the coming days.

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