At some point in the fermentation process, the bacteria that convert sugars into alcohol poison themselves and the process starts. Wine can only get so alcoholic without the addition of distilled alcohol (as is done with Port.)
That process is occurring in Madison, or so one hopes. The unionized teachers at Madison’s public schools have complained about the breakdown of order.
High school hallway and cafeteria fights seem much more prevalent these days. Many of them are girl on girl. Disciplining the brawlers creates a civil rights crisis if black students are involved. The camera- and microphone-loving Michael Johnson held a press conference (how eager our news media is for such exhibitions!) last week after a melee in the East High School cafeteria required eight uniformed police and various faculty to break up and a minority race female student was arrested.
This is a little bit more than smoking in the boys’ room and it appears to be a nationwide problem. The Manhattan Institute traces the outbreak to — what else? — the Obama administration. Five years ago, his Department of Education decreed that too many black students were being suspended, thereby feeding the liberal narrative than educators turn the other way when white kids are wailing on each other but bust a black kid for chewing gum. The federal educrats followed up with the threat of federal lawsuits if school administrators kept expelling troublemakers. Madison’s public schools were among those who acceded to the pressure.
Politically correct but educationally disruptive
The Manhattan Institute report is “School Discipline Reform and Disorder.” It shows a:
… dramatic shift in school discipline policy, spurred by national statistics showing stark racial differences in school suspension rates and the assumption that bias was behind the differences. Twenty-seven states have revised their laws to reduce the use of exclusionary discipline, and more than 50 of America’s largest school districts, serving more than 6.35 million students, have implemented discipline reforms. From 2011–12 to 2013–14, the number of suspensions nationwide fell by nearly 20%.
Advocates of discipline reform claim that a suspension may have negative effects on the student being disciplined. Critics are concerned that lax discipline may lead to more disruptive behavior, disrupting classrooms and harming students who want to learn.
The story is the same in Madison’s public schools. A survey jointly conducted in May 2015 by the teachers union and the school district found that only 13% of teachers agreed that the new behavior plan was working; 51% disagreed. “These results are even more pronounced at the middle and high school levels (where it was 9% and 55%),” the report of the Joint Committee on Safety and Discipline concluded.
When asked to respond to the statement “When a student is returned to class following a behavior incident, he or she is ready to re-engage in learning,” 11% of high teachers agreed; 55% disagreed.
“The left’s decision to place the welfare of bullies and thugs above the welfare of kids who are in school to learn is counter-productive,” Jason L. Riley writes in the Wall Street Journal, in a bit of an understatement.
So much for Martin Luther King Jr.’s classic statement on the content of one’s character. Meanwhile, Madison is considering booting police from our public high schools. (More here.)