The Philadelphia School District has banned the president of the school police officers union from its central police control room where crime is called in, following comments he made to The Inquirer about safety in the schools.

The district action prompted Michael Lodise, the president of the union, to file an unfair labor practice charge with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

"It's intimidation. That's what it is," Lodise said Tuesday.

For the last 15 years that he has been union president, Lodise said he has had access to the school police "incident room." While there, he said, he routinely obtained information pertinent to investigations involving discipline of union members or other matters relative to his position.

The room - in the school administration building at 440 N. Broad St. - is a smaller-scale version of the city Police Department's radio control room. Schools call in assaults, fights, robberies, and other crimes to the room.

The district's decision to ban Lodise from the room came one week after The Inquirer published its seven-part investigative series, "Assault on Learning," on violence in the schools, the complaint notes.

The series detailed brutal attacks on students and teachers - thousands of assaults are recorded annually - and raised questions about whether the district's incident-reporting system was understating the violence.

Lodise told The Inquirer that his members were being told not to report incidents and that 183 cases last school year only came to light when city police made arrests.

"The decision of the district to prohibit President Lodise from entering the Incident Room on April 11 was motivated, at least in part, by public statements made by President Lodise in his capacity as president," the complaint states, citing an article that appeared March 28 as part of the series.

It also noted an Inquirer article on April 5 in which Lodise complained that the district was targeting 163 officers for layoffs because of budget cuts. The force includes 635 full- and part-time officers.

District spokeswoman Shana Kemp said the room is for "official personnel," and Lodise has no business there.

"Mr. Lodise is not a commander, and he is not a member of the district's school police staff, so he doesn't automatically have access to the room due to his position with the union," she said. "He also doesn't have any school police officers working in the incident control room, so he has no official reason to have access."

Employees who work in the room belong to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers union, Kemp said.

The decision to make the room off limits to Lodise, she said, is part of Inspector Myron Patterson's work to ensure the proper chain of command is followed. Patterson is on loan to the district from the city to oversee school safety operations, a post he began last summer.

District lawyer Andrew Rosen also wrote in an e-mail to union lawyer Ralph Teti that "confidential info" is in the office "that only certain people are privy to."

Rosen denied in the e-mail that the decision was in retaliation.

"I am not aware that this matter is related in any way to Mike's statements about any matter," Rosen wrote. "He is not being retaliated against in any way for any comments he has made."

Rosen declined to comment.

But Lodise and Teti said the bargaining agreement grants union representatives the right to visit district buildings to investigate working conditions and gather information related to grievances and they believe that should extend to the incident control room.

The labor relations board will decide whether to set a hearing on the charge.