May 11, 2015; Channel 3000 WISC-TV (Madison, WI)

In Madison, Wisconsin, the decision about whether or not to indict the officer who shot 19-year-old Tony Robinson, Jr., will be announced this morning. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said that he would give 24 hours notice before making the decision public. This has given the superintendent of the Madison School District cause to issue advice to students and parents about the protests that may ensue and students’ participation in them. In the past, students have skipped school to attend.

Superintendent Cheatham, while asking that parents encourage students to stay in school and participate in discussions, says that if they do decide to join protests, to talk safety issues through with them.

“We are planning to provide structured opportunities at middle and high school for students to discuss what happened once the announcement is made,” Cheatham said. “At the elementary level, our staff will be ready to support students and provide opportunities for conversations as issues come up.

“While we have been proud of how responsibly and safely our students have participated in events throughout the community, we also think it is important for you to talk with your child about both their rights and responsibilities as part of a protest if they choose to participate, as well as the consequences of a possible arrest.”

The district’s website provides resources for parents on the topic.—Ruth McCambridge