The Whitehorse case is in the District attorney’s lap
but Madison schools have already vilified the teacher
Paddling furiously, Madison Metropolitan School District superintendent Jennifer Cheatham intends to start up a hotline for staff, students, and families to report racism, personal slights, micro-aggressions, and onerous homework assignments.
It’s yet another panicked reaction following an incident at Whitehorse middle school involving a faculty member and an 11-year-old student. Because the school’s “positive behavior coach” is white (or, at least, identifies as such) and the child is black, the posse has declared the issue conclusive evidence of racism most foul.
Madison’s social justice warriors will not entertain the thought that the coach simply lost his cool over a bratty kid that wouldn’t behave. Or that the adolescent lashed out and had to be restrained. No, it MUST be race because implicit bias, white privilege, disparate impact, school-to-prison pipeline, capitalism, Act 10 …
Supt. Cheatham told the WI State Journal:
There has been a lack of clarity about where to go to report racist incidents and that the district needs “a more streamlined system” and “one clear place to go,” and [Cheatham] mentioned a telephone hotline as one possible option.
• Students, did you get an F on your term paper? Report that racist teacher now!
• Did she send your precious scholar to the dreaded Restorative Justice room for some restorative nap time? Report her as a (fill in the blank). Let teacher prove her innocense.
• Want to get even? Operators are standing by!
The new McCarthyism
Didn’t we try Jennifer Cheatham’s anonymous tipster line before? That’s right: at the UW-Madison in the 1990s. It was the new McCarthyism: unvetted accusations made by unnamed forced the accused to defend themselves without confronting their accusers.
During this time, there was one incident in which a student stole money from his roommate who happened to be Japanese. The student did not steal the money from his roommate because he was Japanese, but the codes were applied to that student anyway and he was punished accordingly.
Civil libertarian and emeritus professor Donald Downs recalled that:
The faculty speech code battle had moments of levity, too. Downs admitted at the conference that he and other faculty members allowed themselves a bit of fun with complaint boxes installed by administrators around campus for students and faculty to anonymously report speech code violations.
“We used to make jokes about the complaints we’d file against each other,” Downs said. “At one time we had, like, 50 complaints against each other.”
UW-Madison still has a bias incident report form.
Cheatham told the WI State Journal she has spoken to the mother of the girl but not the faculty member. Doesn’t matter. Cheatham called the incident “especially horrific.”
“No matter what comes out of the police investigation, there was a failure on our part.”
Madison police today turned their investigation over to District Attorney Ismael Ozanne.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Genius move. That makes Ozanne the one to announce no charges will be filed.