How many bottoms can little Johnny touch
before he gets ‘restored’?
Got to admit, it sounds good, doesn’t it? Kind of like “each according to his need.” “Social justice.” The Sacagawea dollar coin. ABC-TV cancelling Last Man Standing. Or at least, it did at the time.
The Madison school board has doubled down on its Behavior Education Plan, as we predicted. (“Secret decoder ring comes with new Madison BEP.” The original meeting was postponed due to weather until last night, 02-04-19.)
Supt. Jen Cheatham is “very proud of progressive discipline as opposed to zero tolerance.” Out with the punitive, in with the restorative. And please, “deepen our collective mindset” while you’re at it.
No one advocates sending a kid to Lincoln Hills over bubble gum stuck under the desk. Nor will we give up on a 16-year-old, even if s/he’s hijacking cars instead of doing homework. But the first order of business is a safe school and an orderly classroom so that the other 20 kids in the classroom can learn. So that kids can line up for their sloppy joes without dodging punches in the weekly cafeteria brawl.
Instead, the Doyle administration building has lawyered up school discipline so that it is more abstruse and legalistic than the criminal code. Consider these examples, lifted from Logan Wroge’s story in the Wisconsin State Journal:
The changes would also add an explicit violation of “swearing, cursing or make obscene gestures, use of racial slurs, or protected class references” toward a staff member, with students subject to discipline under levels three and four at middle and high schools. Engaging in such conduct toward another student would bring consequences under levels two and three. Currently, the BEP treats such inappropriate language and gestures the same, regardless of whether they are directed toward a teacher or classmate, as level one through three infractions.
As for the cafeteria lady wearing the hairnet, go ahead and unload! Or this example:
In secondary schools now, inappropriate touching of someone’s “bottom, breasts or private areas” could qualify for level two through four discipline. The recommendation would structure the discipline for inappropriate touching so that touching a bottom would start at a level two sanction, touching a breast would start at level three and touching private areas would start at level four.
Unregulated is exactly how many bottoms can little Johnny touch before he reaches Level 11. And what, exactly, is the restorative justice look like? For that:
Blaska’s Bottom Line: We’re closing out year #5 of the BEP. How’s it working? Well, out-of-school suspensions are down 15% but “behavior incidents” have nearly doubled since the year before BEP, so you tell me.
We’re in good company
No, the Madison teachers union did not endorse Blaska for school board. Neither did MTI endorse Kaleem Caire. Do visit BlaskaForSaferSchools.org. And stop by the candidate forum starting 6:30 this evening (02-05-19) at Christ Presbyterian Church, 944 E. Gorham St.