The firing of Marlon Anderson, the West high school security guard for schooling a miscreant kid on the hatefulness of the N-word, is what our … acquaintances like to call “a teachable moment.”
Here’s betting the Madison school district flunks this real-life snap quiz.
Mr. Anderson has been re-instated by orders of school board president Gloria Reyes. That is leadership of a sort, although one would need be comatose not to feel the blowback from marching students, angry teachers, and an incredulous national media. (Cher, anyone?)
⇒ But will MMSD correct course? Will the district address the blind adherence to “racial equity” in lieu of academic achievement and what report cards back in the day called “deportment”? Hold not thy breath.
Madison schools truly are a national punch line. Talk about a knee jerk reaction to the prevailing P.C. culture. Now what about the other teachers who used ‘that word’ instructionally? Can they get their jobs back? And their reputations?
I hate to say it but I told you so, don’t mind my preachin’ to you
I said “don’t trust ’em, baby” now you know
You don’t know ev’rything there is to know in school ….
Laugh, laugh, I thought I’d die
It seemed so funny to me
Laugh, laugh you met a guy who taught you how it feels to be
Lonely, oh so lonely
— the Beau Brummels, 1965
How does a school system fix stupid?
This is a truism that should be emblazoned in granite over the front doors of Wisconsin’s Madison West High School, which has recently become a national laughingstock for its unbending application of a rule governing the language that can be used by employees.
So writes struggling young writer Christian Schneider in The College Fix. (Bookmark this website!)
To use a William F. Buckley analogy, firing Anderson for merely saying the N-word “is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around.”
Madison schools look ridick-a-lus
The College Fix continues: “Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss, himself a Madison West alumnus, said via Twitter if Anderson’s story was accurate, it was “ridiculous and irrational and utterly wrong.”
Madison, of course, is one of the most progressive cities in America, and the school board is equally steeped in the liberalism of its citizens. … In 2014, when faced with the fact that black students were being suspended more often than white students, the district instituted a new behavior plan that eliminated suspensions altogether.
Well, not quite. But we get the larger point. We’ve been making it for a couple years now. (Here, among many others!)
The firing of Marlon Anderson is, of course, the legacy of the last superintendent, that privileged white woman, Jennifer Cheatham. Upon her departure for Harvard University to turn out more guilty white superintendents, CT publisher Paul Fanlund asked, is “Did Madison do right by Jennifer Cheatham?”
The question at Blaska Policy Werkes is this: Will Madison do right by all the Marlon Andersons, the teaching faculty, and our children?
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Who else thinks Kaleem Caire must submit his name to be the next superintendent of Madison schools? And campaign vigorously for that job? TV and radio, public rallies, yard signs. Can Madison’s Chamber of Commerce money bags bestir themselves to think about losing the next generation? Zach Brandon, call your office.
For Extra Credit:
“If a contextualized judgment is what was required for Anderson, then it’s required for all of them. You don’t have a zero tolerance policy if you make exceptions.” So pronounceth Ann of Althouse.
Greg Humphrey at Caffeinated Politics:
I wonder if others in this city now think perhaps a vote for David Blaska for the board this past April would have been a good idea. I supported his bid and know my vote was the correct one. Now more than ever. “Madison School Board Needs Diversity – Just Anyone With Common Sense.”