***Article updated 3/13/2022 at 8:09pm to include a comment from Board Member Tony Garcia***
The Kenosha Unified School District Board has scheduled a special meeting for this Tuesday, March 15, 2022. One familiar face won’t be seen – at least, not in his usual blue “security” reflective vest. He is KUSD Security Officer Dave Molinaro. He recently retired from the Kenosha Police Department as a Lieutenant after a 32-year career. Molinaro is an A.L.I.C.E. instructor and has worked for KUSD for some 15 years in a security role. Even after retiring from KPD, he stayed employed with the district as a security officer for a middle school here in Kenosha. He was also assigned as one of a two-person security team at the Educational Support Center where the School Board meets. His duties at such meetings were to keep the school board members and public safe. Molinaro would also walk people to their vehicles after meetings if they requested. For example, Tanya Kitts-Lewinski, the Kenosha Teacher’s Union President frequently asked Molinaro to walk her to her car. Even though he seemingly disagrees at times with the union, he was happy to walk her to her vehicle even though there have been no documented threats against her. She also disagrees with retired police officers like Molinaro from carrying a weapon on school grounds. State law, however is very clear. On duty, off-duty, out-of-state and retired law enforcement officer can carry on school grounds as long as they keep up their certifications. Molinaro and the other law enforcement security officers do maintain the requirements – we checked.
On January 25 the KUSD School board met to talk again about the mandatory mask policy. Molinaro removed his security vest and spoke against the mandatory masks. He criticized some members of the board saying that they “need to stop kow-towing the (Kenosha Teacher’s Union)….. Covid stops at 4:00pm at unified, and it starts again at 8:30am in the morning” said Molinaro, referring to the optional mask policy for after-school activities. “Those students there become my children, but I’m not going to tell them to go get vaccinated.”
Two minutes and thirty seconds later he put his vest back on and resumed his security duties about 6 feet from the podium. A second officer working security on the 25th is a retired KPD detective and was watching the front door to the building. Molinaro is usually seen in the western door-way of the board room, where he has a clear view of the entire board room and down the hallways.
Yesterday, a KUSD insider told KCE under the condition on anonymity, Molinaro was”let go” from school board meeting security. He was seen entering and leaving a KUSD administrator’s office.
We spoke to KUSD Board President Yolanda Santos-Adams who confirmed what we were told saying:
“Several board members (including myself) were not happy that our hired security officer, assigned to duty at the front entrance, not only made citizens comments while on duty, but also spent most of the evening in the boardroom doorway watching the entire meeting.”
Santos-Adams also told us that Molinaro will still be working at the Kenosha-area middle school and that the district has received positive feedback about his performance in the school. “Perhaps in the future we may request his services, again. But for the short term, we will offer the opportunity to other personnel interested in providing this service to see if the level of security improves” said Santos Adams.
“As per your question, I have nothing to do with it. Thanks for the update. I did not know that he was reassigned till now. Yolanda is the one who make this decision without the consent of the board.”