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MPS hosts meeting about stopping violence against students

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

MPS hosts meeting about stopping violence against students

By Melissa McCrady and the WTMJ News Team. CREATED Feb 28, 2012 - UPDATED: Feb 28, 2012

MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Public School board will hold a special meeting to focus solely on how to keep students from falling into a life of crime and violence, following a series of violent deaths involving MPS students.

Four students form the district have been murdered since late December 2011.

"I knew Eddie (Ellis).  He was a really good friend," said Antonio Ugarte about his friend who was gunned down in January.

"It does make me sad," explained Marian Borek, another Bradley Tech student.  "All of these people hate each other and want to fight each other."

District officials are now sending out an emergency call of action, asking the community to attend a special meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the MPS Central Services building on West Vliet Street.

"As a result of tonight, I hope we'll be in a position to walk way with an army that says 'We're not going to lose our city.  We're not going to lose our children,' " expressed MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton to TODAY'S TMJ4's Melissa McCrady.

He said many of his students fear they won't live past the age of 21.

"All of us (are responsible)," claimed Thornton.  "It starts with me in the school district.  It goes to politicians.  It goes to parents."

Even students agreed.

"I think the parents should be more involved," and "Everyone should get involved, including us" were among responses given to McCrady on Tuesday.

State Representative Dale Kooyenga spoke out in January, hoping to stop the violence.

:"That violence is a direct result of an education system that isn't bringing kids to where they need to be. It's also a direct result of an economic system and a family structure that isn't putting these kids on the right paths," said Kooyenga.