Cops in Madison schools, Part #1

Expel the disrupters, not the police

Only in the Emerald City would the school district even consider evicting police from its high schools. Truly, Madison is that island surrounded by the reality of  mass school shootings, most recently this month at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where 17 were killed. (If the shooting occurred despite an armed guard on the premises it could be argued the school needed more.)

The ad hoc school board committee considering Educational Resource Officers (or EROs) will hold four listening sessions for public comment in April to respond to its final recommendations, which are still being determined.

Police EROs L-R: Justin Creech, West; Ken Mosley, La Follette; Zulma Franco, East; Tray Turner, Memorial H.S.

One of those recommendations is to expel the single ERO at each of Madison’s four high schools. (Those recommendations discussed here.)

At the committee’s meeting Wednesday evening (02-21-18), member Justice Castenada said: “We are not getting any compelling argument for the physical presence of police in school.”  I spoke before the meeting with committee chairman Dean Loumos, a member of the full Board of Education. My sense is that he might not agree but I cannot predict how the 12-member committee* will vote.

For a year now, the Education Resource Officer (ERO) Ad Hoc Committee has been besieged by the Derail the Jail Crowd. Thirty of them crowded the committee room at the Doyle School District administrative Bldg. The same anti-cop people who want no jail (even one that would treat mental illness) and “community control of the police,” whatever that means. The same people who blame police for crime.

This small but noisy group is completely out of touch with the parents and taxpayers of Madison.

  • Just this week in Madison, large-scale brawls broke out almost simultaneously on February 19 at East, West, and Memorial H.S. La Follette H.S. had its own brawl on February 13, to which 18 police responded. Two students and one teacher were injured.
  • The night of February 20, 150 parents concerned about the break-down in discipline met at La Follette.
  • The very day of your meeting, an ERO at La Follette disarmed a student who brought a .22-caliber handgun to school. Could your average English teacher have done that?

It is time someone spoke for the victims of chaos in our schools: students who want to learn, teachers who want to teach — regardless of race. Say it NOW and say it TODAY: Madison Schools fully supports cops in the schools.

Martin-Luther-King-Jr.-contentThe Race Card

Metro Madison School District is convinced that too many students of color are being arrested or cited by police for disrupting schools. The district had made a conscious policy of driving down arrests to the point where the school board is actually considering eliminating the cure rather than the problem.

Even at that, MMSD still has not eliminated racial disparity.

Of the 105 high school students arrested in the 2016-17 school year,
81 were Afro-American.

Stanford University’s Thomas Sowell asks: “Is it impossible that black males misbehave in school more often than Asian females? Or Jewish students? Or others?”

“Racial equity,” the Manhattan Institute observes, “has become the all-purpose justification for dubious educational policies. Equity proponents view disparate impact — when the same policies yield different outcomes among demographic groups — as conclusive proof of discrimination. ‘Equity’ does not seek equal treatment for all students. Instead, it demands statistical equivalence in discipline referrals and suspensions for students of every racial group, regardless of those students’ actual conduct.”

The Squire advocates state legislation forbidding the collection of data based on race for any institution that receives state funding.

He would expressly allow, statutorily, the use of physical force when confronted with disruptive conduct. My friend Mitch Henck recalls the first time he laid eyes on the late, justly revered Milton McPike. The East High principal was in the process of frog-marching a miscreant by the scruff of his neck into a waiting police squad car.

Blaska’s Bottom Line:  Instead of setting the bar lower, please decline the Race Card for insufficient funds.

Part #2 of Cops in Schools

Chief Koval talks to Our Ms. Vicki about cops in schools


Tell the school board what you think:
ERO ad hoc committee members: School board members Dean Loumos, T.J. MertzAnna Moffit; and Tyrone Bell, Justice Castaneda, Heather Crowley, Ald. Barbara Harrington- McKinney, Payal Khandhar, Nestic Morris, David Olson, Greg Rosetti, Abra Vigna.


 

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Cops in Madison schools, Part #2

Lesson #1 is Discipline

Fewer arrests don’t necessarily translate into safer schools
and racial disparity continues

Defining deviance down

I’ve read the statistics. Yes, student arrests in Madison’s public schools are down 22% over the last four years. Two possible reasons:

  1. That EROs are making headway.
  2. Or, discouragingly, because that is how MMSD defines success. Not helping students, but improving the statistics to prove that you are not Racist! That’s called Dumbing Deviance Down.

A member of your school board committee on Educational Resource Officers (EROs), Payal Khandhar, last night (02-21-18) reported that the Dane County District Attorney’s office thought EROs were “an easy target to blame.” Further, that if there is no criminal referral, Dane County’s extensive restorative justice programs and social services are not available to the student. The DA’s office also pointed out that vulnerable students targeted by school disrupters are more likely to report their victimization if EROs are inside the schools.

Ms. Khandhar related that some disruptions may not be recorded in the system. “Their [the DA’s] perspective was from the vulnerable and the victim. They felt that, after the 7th, 8th, or 9th fight, an MMSD response was not sufficient.”

The OIR Group retained by Dane County government concluded that police in schools:

Serve as a form of neighborhood officer in the best traditions of problem-oriented policing: developing constructive relationships, identifying potential issues, [and] creating unique informal restorative justice programs … to deter and prevent problems before they arise.”

Contrary to what the social justice warriors chant, Madison schools are NOT feeding the so-called “school to prison pipeline.” Dangerous, anti-social conduct does that. Defining deviance down will only delay the day of reckoning.

Get disrupters the help they need

I commend to MMSD’s attention to state legislation this week reforming the juvenile justice system and allocating $40 million to new county treatment centers for low-level offenders. Join me in encouraging County Executive Parisi and the County Board to create this resource so that Madison schools can expel more troublemakers, rather than fewer.

I rifled through your list of recommendations under consideration; 144 of them! (Moses hd 10.) Besides kicking the very symbol of Law and Order out to school, you’ve got:

  • Conduct a root cause analysis of violence in the schools
  • Set aside money for students of color who would decide what to do with it
  • Prohibit teachers from threatening ERO involvement during “behavioral incidents”
  • Do a deep MMSD survey for implicit bias
  • Facilitate a culture shift in high schools (whatever that means)

Here’s what’s not on the list: Respect authority and your classroom, quit fighting, learn discipline, embrace your education. And for Gawd’s sake, stop playing the victim!

By all means, try to understand what is bugging the miscreant. It is difficult to educate a student who has never been read to, who does not know his/her father, who is exposed to criminal activity where s/he lives.

But let’s get real. Is MMSD going to restore his family? Cure his mother’s alcoholism? Get her older brother out of prison? Rewrite the history of racism? No, but at least it can teach him or her to read.

This is the starting point: No Excuses. Everyone has a story, you’ve got yours, I’ve got mine and my tiny violin is at the shop for repairs.

This school has no time for losers. We DEMAND excellence. You WILL perform.

Lesson #1 is DISCIPLINE. Without it, you can’t shoot a three-point basket, play Stairway to Heaven, or find the hypotenuse of a triangle.

The union-dominated school board a few years back foolishly passed up he Urban League’s proposed Madison Prep, non-instrumentality charter high school. Kaleem Caire brought to Madison’s CUNA Center a delegation from a active charter school in Chicago. The young men, all African-American, were well spoken and sharp-looking in their school blazers.

The dean of students explained, “I discipline hard — but I love harder.”

After their appearance, the young men from Chicago toured the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

For further study: Chief Koval talks to Our Ms. Vicki about cops in schools

In case you missed it: Cops in Schools Part #1

Posted in Madison schools, Race, War on Police | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

At Madison high schools beset by brawls, school board considers booting cops

Discipline is Lesson #1

The goal should be helping students learn, not making the numbers look good
That is done by demanding high standards
Police EROs L-R: Justin Creech, West; Ken Mosley, La Follette; Zulma Franco, East; Tray Turner, Memorial H.S.

Time for the Madison school board to hear from real people instead of the social justice warriors. The Derail the Jail crowd has been haranguing the school board for over a year demanding racial equity *  — not of expectations or actual performance but in statistical equivalence regardless of conduct.

In the last week or so, massive student brawls have disrupted all four Madison high schools — last week at La Follette High School and three on the same day Monday at East, West, and Memorial H.S. Last week at a Florida school, 17 students were shot and killed, 15 injured. What’s on the Madison school board’s agenda? Getting Cops out of the Schools!


Your Intrepid Squire is attending the meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at school administration HDQ, Room 103 of the Doyle Bldg., 545 W Dayton St. Madison. I’d like some company.


Madison police have been staffing our public high schools for going on 20 years. They’re also known as educational resource officers, or EROs.

Under pressure from Black Lives Matter, Progressive Dane, and the Socialist Alliance, a school board committee headed by member Dean Loumos is considering:

  • Removing police from schools entirely
  • Giving school officials final say over an arrest or citation
  • Prohibiting EROs from arresting or citing
  • Limiting or restricting EROs from carrying firearms (gun, taser, mace)
  • Reducing their ability to call for back up
  • Getting EROs out of their MPD uniforms and wearing some kind of “soft” alternative uniform
  • Continuing EROs but keep them off-site until an emergency arises
  • Conducting a root cause analysis of violence in the schools
  • Setting aside money for students of color who would decide what to do with it
  • Prohibiting teachers from threatening ERO involvement during “behavioral incidents”
  • Doing a “deep MMSD survey” for implicit bias
  • Facilitating a “culture shift” in high schools (whatever that means)

Here’s what’s not on the list: Respect authority and your classmates, quit fighting, learn discipline, embrace your education. And for Gawd’s sake, stop playing the victim.

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The social justice warriors plan to demonstrate against cops in schools at 4:45 Wednesday afternoon in front of the Madison Schools admin bldg.

The racism of low expectations

Ironically, police are arresting fewer students in the schools — 22% fewer than four years ago. That is not to say more should not have been arrested, only that fewer were arrested last school year. Dumbing deviancy down may explain the recent outbreak of free-for-alls. Regardless, the racial “disparity” continues. Those racist cops!

Of the 105 high school students arrested in the 2016-17 school year, 81 were Afro-American. The Blaska Policy Werkes would eliminate race designations as being inimical to educational achievement, public order, and self respect. But identity politics is integral to the liberal-progressive-socialist genome. Race feeds their cult of victimhood. Police only feed the school-to-prison pipeline. Anyone who says different is blaming the victim, who, it is held, is not responsible for his own behavior. (Or her behavior. Girl fights are up 25% in the Madison schools.) That is the worst kind of racism.

Discipline is the first lesson …

Without it, you can’t shoot a three-point basket, play the guitar, or find the hypotenuse of a triangle. The Superintendent of the Policy Werkes would begin every school day with the Pledge of Allegiance (standing) and a passage from Admiral McRaven’s commencement address to University of Texas graduates. The one that starts out with making your bed.

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

For further study:


* “Racial equity” has become the all-purpose justification for dubious educational policies. Equity proponents view “disparate impact” — when the same policies yield different outcomes among demographic groups — as conclusive proof of discrimination. On the education front, “equity” does not seek equal treatment for all students. Instead, it demands statistical equivalence in discipline referrals and suspensions for students of every racial group, regardless of those students’ actual conduct. — from the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.


 

Posted in Crime, identity politics, Madison schools, Race, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Three Madison high schools erupt in chaos Monday noon

“West High and the District are engaging in experimental,
ill-advised, and dangerous tactics to essentially bend over backwards
to not “offend” the OFFENDERS.” — A Parent

Madison high schools are erupting in chaos. Three high schools in one day, Monday, February 19, over the noon hour. Bad enough for the cop on duty to call for reinforcements. Police responded to melees at Madison West, Madison Memorial, and Madison East high schools.

From what we can determine, the misbehaving students were not peacefully protesting for gun control, social justice, or better cafeteria food. They were just fighting.

Let’s start with Chief Koval’s bare bones police blotter:

MIDTOWN: Disturbance – 12:12 p.m.  MPD Educational Resource Officer (ERO) requested back-up to assist with a large disturbance in the cafeteria of Madison Memorial High School.  Multiple officers responded to de-escalate the situation.  Investigation continuing. 

MIDTOWN: Disturbance – 12:27 p.m.  MPD Educational Resource Officer’s (ERO) radio alarm was activated during a large disturbance at West High School.  Additional officers responded to assist with the situation.  Investigation continuing. 

NORTH: Disturbance – 12:38 p.m.  MPD Educational Resource Officer (ERO) requested multiple officers respond to East High School regarding a disturbance and an attempt to apprehend a couple of subjects.  A juvenile (15 year old AAF) arrived at school (she was suspended) with two other subjects (20 year old AAF and 15 year old AAF) and started a disturbance.  The 20 year old AAF was arrested and conveyed to the jail for trespassing and disorderly conduct.  Investigation continuing with respect to the juveniles. 

We have a little bit more on the situation at West H.S.. First, the notice to parents from the principal, Karen Boran:

Dear West Families,

I am writing to let you know about a disruption during our school day today. Shortly before 12:30 pm today, a small group of students engaged in a loud verbal altercation. Other students were present to see the incident that occurred in front of our library. Our staff quickly responded, but we also requested assistance from the police to bring the situation under control quickly and help to investigate the root cause of the conflict.

After we brought the situation under control, we were able to continue our normal school day. I want you to know that our staff responded quickly and the vast majority of our students acted appropriately and followed safety precautions.

Now this response from one parent, whose name I am redacting (edited for brevity):

Physical assaults and torn-off hair

Dear Principal Boran,

Thank you for the incident report about the “loud verbal altercation” that necessitated law enforcement engagement to put a stop to, and that we can all be thankful did not cross over into the “beyond verbal” realm of assaults, violence and melee. Surely in this aftermath of the Florida school incident we can all be thankful that it was not worse that it was …although the problem is that we really don’t know what exactly “it” WAS. And in the aftermath of that incident the time is right to take back our school and declare it a truly safe space once again.

… I would like to ask you as the Principal, what exactly happened?

My son said this was a very loud and aggressive happening involving a subset of the student population that he cannot help but notice and comment has also coincidentally been involved in all other altercations (including not just “verbal altercations” but also actual physical assaults and various melees including ones with torn-off hair strewn on the floor and a vast crowd of students teeming at the edges, filled with adrenaline, watching and getting thrills from the witnessing thereof).

These altercations are seen as the NORM because students engaging in them are coddled and the peaceful majority of students are the real victims— living in constant awareness that for reasons unknown to them and that can and will never make sense to them — West High and the District are engaging in experimental, ill-advised, and dangerous tactics to essentially bend over backwards to not “offend” the OFFENDERS.

My son is also aware of and afraid, as are most students, that at any given moment, the PARENTS of the violent pupils can and HAVE enjoined the fray themselves, coming upon school grounds or adjacent — to add their fists to the fury, to add their own poor choices to the equation — to add their own adult level danger which can potentially include being armed. 

Due to your policy, students at West have to fear not only violence from and among their fellow students, they also have come to fear the potential of violent ADULTS who are the parents of the violent pupils and who have NO qualms about getting down and dirty and exchanging violence with fellow parents and/or pupils.

A separate but unequal standard?

The overall situation at West raises concerns about the culture of accepted violence and non-discipline which is policy in Madison schools apparently. The origins of this insane policy are not clear to me … PERHAPS the policy is an attempt (albeit severely and horribly misguided) to not make things even worse and to just accept that certain subsets of pupils have within them an innate lack of self-discipline that just has to be accepted as a fact of life — an attitude which in and of itself is terrible and which does NOT seek to expect the best and bring out the best in all students. 

Perhaps once would even be jaded enough to think that the policy seeks to bring about some sort of equity in discipline — by NOT disciplining those who act in violent ways … in effect bring some sort of leveling as to what subsets of students end up disciplined more.

… These pupils, allowed to continue in this mode of unacceptable behavior, have likely come to see the police stepping in as just a temporary hindrance and not anything to really have any deterring effect to make them reconsider continuing that lifestyle of violent aggression.

My son and most of his peers have come to feel there is no safe space from this subset of pupils — and that it is just a fact of life — almost as if living in a war zone —that it is only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose again, They are shell shocked, living with PTSD, and living in constant fear because they KNOW that nothing will come of it when these things happen – and they KNOW that is exactly why they KEEP happening.

‘West is not a safe place’

I can tell you, Principal Boran … that [a] majority of West students DO FEEL that West is not a safe place to go to school … they are all too horribly aware of the stark reality that a CONCERTED UNWILLINGNESS TO CRACK DOWN ON UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIORS — essentially a NON-DISCIPLINE POLICY – is what creates an environment that any concerned parent would find untenable, unacceptable, and frankly, would see as a broken system. The vast majority are therefore at the mercy of the tyranny of the few who DO engage in repeated unacceptable aggressive behaviors – and at the mercy of the school policy that coddles the offenders and brings fear to the hearts of the students who behave properly and just want to learn and make it home each day without “incident.”

… I can tell you there are great numbers of TEACHERS as well who feel the same way but who are all but silenced and made to submit to the groupthink that engenders such insanity — for fear of rocking the boat.

Irony of ironies, barely a week after a similar disturbance at La Follette High School and the school shootings at Parkland, Florida, the Madison School board is considering doing away with cops in schools. I’m attending the meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at school administration HDQ, Room 103 of the Doyle Bldg., 545 W Dayton St. Madison.

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Vote Tuesday, February 20

Three candidates seek to be the newest justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. One will be eliminated in Tuesday’s primary election (02-20-18). We turn over the Stately Manor to Torrey Jaeckle, a local business man.

Vote iconSo I’m doing my research on who to vote for in tomorrow’s Wisconsin Supreme Court primary, and I go to each candidate’s web page to do my due diligence:

Candidate #1: I’m greeted by a video that says this candidate will stand up to the “extreme agenda” of a particular political figure, and that this candidate will “take on [said particular political figure], [insert select business industry here], and [insert select type of business here].”

Candidate #2: I’m greeted by a video that begins with a particular political figure, and told how this candidate will protect us from this person, and will “defend our values.”

Candidate #3: No video, but I am greeted by a clear description of this candidate’s judicial philosophy, which states that, “The role of a judge or justice is to interpret and apply the law, not rewrite the law… When the constitutionality of a law is questioned, the judiciary serves an important role as a legal check on the actions of the other two branches, and appropriately declares when they have overstepped their lawful authority. When a court is asked to interpret a law, its role is to declare what the law is, based on what the legislative and executive branches have done, and not what the court thinks it should be. Following these principles, the judiciary should never serve as a political check on the actions of the other two branches. It is not the role of a court to veto, or rewrite, laws that it believes are unwise or imprudent.”

Note, I purposely didn’t name any politicians, industries, companies, etc. referenced by two of these judges. The names don’t matter. The fact that I despise one of those politicians doesn’t matter. The fact that I agree with some of their sentiments doesn’t matter. Because the role of the court isn’t to implement an agenda, promulgate values, or attack specific individuals, industries, or groups of people. The role of the court is exactly as laid out by Candidate #3.

They say “justices is blind”, but it appears only one candidate understands that.

Your Squire is not as circumspect. The white lab coasts ran the data through Ol’ Sparky, our Eisenhower-era mainframe computer. It announced its verdict with a loud clank and a blinding light show of exploding vacuum tubes befitting the opening of the Korean Olympics: Michael Screnock. (Endorsements from 45 sheriffs!)

 

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Happy Presidents Day, now where’s the damn mail?

This being President’s Day (yippee!), we can only say that it helps to have a good biographer. If you don’t have one you need to write it yourself, which is what Donald Trump is trying to do with his tweeting thumb.

The quadrennial ranking of the presidents is out on this most propitious day. It is conducted by the American Political Scientists Association, an organization with more hooded monks, mysterious chants, and sputtering candles than the Club of Rome, the Trilateral Commission, or the Dane County Republican Party.

Brex'it'dYeah, the tenured college profs rank Donald Trump in the basement — #44, edging the dithering Buchanan. My man of the hour, U.S. Grant, is up seven spots in the quadrennial Presidential Olympics. He is in at #28, thanks greatly to Ron Chernow’s great bio (soon to be a major Broadway play). With more upside to come, it says here.

Ronald Reagan, the greatest president of the 1980s, is up two places to land in the Top 10 at #9. To his question “Miss me yet?” the answer is Yes. George W. Bush crawled out of the Bottom 10 by five rungs to #30. Even poor Richard Nixon crawls up a spot to #33, just ahead of a man who served six months before he was shot, Garfield. In all, it was a good year for Republicans. Hoover and Harding were rehabilitated with +2 and +3, respectively. In the aggregate, Republican presidents improved 11 spots while Democrats (post 1860) were only plus 3. That’s due, in part, to the precipitous fall of Bill Clinton by five rungs, perhaps sullied in today’s #MeToo environment.

But the biggest WTF! of today’s survey is Barack Obama! The guy moved up more than any past president, up 10 to Number 8 on the all-time list of presidents. Are you kidding me?

Only thing the white lab coats here at the Policy Werkes can figger is that Obama shines in comparison to his successor. Look for Obama to plummet faster than Barry Bonds in future voting while Trump improves. If we survive the next three years, that is.

Presidents

One of these is not like the other

The Top 10

  1. Lincoln
  2. Washington
  3. FDR
  4. Teddy R
  5. Jefferson
  6. Truman
  7. Eisenhower,
  8. Obama (!!!!)
  9. Reagan
  10. LBJ

Fake news

Yes, it helps to have a good PR agent or — from the other side — the lamestream news media in your hip pocket. The New York Times, bereft of the Russian collusion narrative, is back to limning Trump as Queeg.

Never shy, Ann of Althouse tells us What [she] hate[s] about the NYT headline “Trump’s Delight Over Russia Indictment Hardens to Fury.”

It never crossed my mind that Trump had become “unusually angry” or beset with “fury.” He put out some great tweets that pushed back his antagonists and restated his interpretation of the indictments. One tweet struck me as his best ever:

If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!

That’s totally on point and completely intelligent. In very few words, he’s saying the damage done to America has been mainly the work of Americans doing the chaos the Russians could only have hoped to see. They’re laughing at us, and we need to stop doing what must be so damned funny to them.

Isn’t this fake news?

Trashing the FBI these days is that much more politically acceptable, in the wake of its whiff on the Florida school shooter , n’est-ce pas? Trump has nowhere to go but up. 

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