Students of all races suffer
This piece originally appeared in slightly different form in the Wisconsin State Journal 11-21-21.
Expelling the four high school resource police officers — all minority race — in summer 2020 was only the most visible trophy in Madison’s campaign to abolish discipline, itself.
Under Jennifer Cheatham, the MMSD district decided “to embrace a restorative and progressive approach, one that aims to keep students in school” — no matter what. Safe to say it failed when one-third of the student body at East high school found it prudent to shelter at home rather than risk injury in student fights and the police tear gas required to quell them.
The district’s behavior education plan admits Madison schools are experimenting on students with critical race theory. “Six years ago we made a major shift … We took a step into uncharted territory. .. A zero policy toward discipline … was having a disproportionate and negative effect on students of color.” (Indeed, the school board this autumn outright banned suspensions through fifth grade.) Result? More trouble.
MMSD reported 2,081 “behavior incidents” to the WI Department of Public Instruction for school year 2019-20 compared to 2,023 in 2016-17 despite reduced enrollment. More concerning, the nature of those offenses are more serious: 863 assaults in 2019-20 compared to 72 just three years earlier. More than twice as many weapon offenses.
MMSD behavior incidents
|Drugs and Alcohol||75||16|
|Other School Rule Violations||684||1,756|
Yet students of color continue to be disproportionately disciplined. “The simple fact is this: black boys do commit more violent offenses in public schools than other kids,” acknowledges John McWhorter, in his book Woke Racism.
You want “equity”? According to MMSD data from 2017-18, 59% of disciplinary actions were taken against boys, even though they account for 49% of enrollment. To play their game: Why are Madison schools biased against boys? Professor McWhorter, himself black, argues:
To insist that bigotry is the only possible reason for suspending more black boys than white boys, is to espouse harming black students [who are left] not only improperly educated but beaten up.
Trouble at school? School district teachers and staff must navigate a 111-page school safety plan. Its flow chart is no help; it’s a bewildering corn maze of 23 possible action steps that begin with “Notify Central Office.” Try to find “call the cops” despite the mandate of state law to report serious threats.
Time and again, the school district pulls the rug out from under disciplinarians. The most tragic example is the white “positive behavior coach” beaten by an unruly black student at Whitehorse middle school in 2019. He did everything by the book. He still got the hook.
Blaska is not running
Three years ago, Blaska ran against Ali Muldrow, now president of the school board. It’s time for someone else to step up. All that is required is a little courage and a lot of common sense.
In Madison, principals do not run their schools; teachers cannot control their classrooms. They are second-guessed by the suits at Doyle administration building. The school board couldn’t maintain order at its own meetings. Freedom Inc. shut down its 2018 annual budget meeting in its campaign to intimidate members into defunding the police.
This Woke attitude manifests itself in the larger community; young predators roam the streets after jumping bail on multiple signature bonds — like Katoine Richardson and this guy.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Discipline is crucial to success. Discipline is mastering a skill, finishing an assignment, peaceably resolving disputes. We should not be race-shamed from teaching that precious skill to our children.
I can tell you what the problem is. The problem stems from a lack of accountability by the top administrative officials to the parents, to the students, to their staff. I would want to know how many times the top admin. people are actually in the schools?
How many of them have 1st hand information on what is going on in any of the schools. And by first hand information, I mean walking the halls, sitting inside classrooms while classes are being taught. How many of them actually talk to their staff and students on a daily or weekly basis?
How many of them even show up at the Admin building and how many of them are mostly “working from home”.
Starry eyed liberal plans on how to improve education made up by those who do not have “boots on the ground” are totally worthless.
“Example is the school of mankind, and he will learn at no other.”
Sadly, the Oxford Michigan High School learned the lesson last week, the hard way. And so it seems that the Madison School Board will demand the same hard lesson before they will admit their colossal error.
I believe there were two instances in the past week of loaded guns being brought to area high schools. Is there anybody willing to bet that it will “never happen here?” Are you willing to bet the lives of students and teachers? Because that’s what the school board did. They bet everybody’s safety on the theory that having no cops in schools would reduce the number of arrests of “black and brown children.” (According to Freedom Inc., the cops are trained to kill black and brown children, even if they themselves are black or brown.) This was the lynchpin of their entire school safety plan. In fact, it was the ONLY plan. They admitted it at the time they took the vote. They vomited some word salad about how a committee would form a new plan, but the plan was simply to substitute “counseling” for discipline. The main thing was, NO COPS IN SCHOOLS. Nothing else mattered.
So how’s that going? Are arrests of brown and black children down? If not, why not? Surely this one metric could give us some indication of the success or failure of this strategy to reduce arrests. It very well could work. If you reduce the number of cops available to make arrests, it naturally follows that would likely be fewer arrests. Cut officer positions anywhere and you’ll have fewer arrests. This is not rocket science. Now crime on the other hand….
No, I’m afraid the school board will not even reflect on their insane theories of safety until we have a tragedy HERE. Michigan is just too far from here to learn anything from the mistakes of others.
So who will bet me that Oxford puts cops in their school from now on?
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If a student gets hurt because of the reckless policies of a schoolboard, could the victims sue the school board members? Not the school district, but the individual, policy making people that constitute the schoolboard? Asking for a friend.
Educational equity ought to include mandates that half of teachers at every level of K-12 schooling (elementary, middle, high) be male.
That would probably solve most discipline problems.
And at least 45% of the School Board should be men too. The current bunch has almost zero gender diversity.
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I’m sorry to hear you’re not running again, Dave, but I understand it.
You’ve got to know, you made a difference the last time you ran.
You raised their collective consciousness by defining the problem.
Thank you. And thanks for sharing the comparative crime chart timeline.
Mrs. Good Dog, Happy Man used to work for MMSD teaching in their “Off-Campus” Program.
Most expelled students possessed weapons, drugs, or were in fights or threatened others.
Some couldn’t attend in person because of special needs that couldn’t be reasonably accommodated on-site. The program worked very well. She was always consulted and helped teachers and administrators develop IEPs, Individual Education Programs. The program was cancelled not only because of the cost, but because of “disparate impact”. Because of minority students getting expelled at a higher rate, our educrats didn’t enforce ANY dicipline, normal behavioral standards, or have ANY accountability. That was a way wrong-headed decision.
To their credit, MMSD continued to provide education to disruptive kids even as they were being expelled Mrs. GDHM met them off-campus, at neutral sites: library’s, public facilities and churches. Because I was concerned for her personal safety and to assess the risk, I always went with her on the initial meeting. As a large, hairy brute, they had no trouble understanding, You can choose your choices, but you can’t always choose your consequences. Behave.”
Leftist educrats rarely consider the effects of their short-sighted experiments on students as they analyze disparate impact. It’s commonly referred to as the law of unintended consequences. It has always been more important for Lefties to feel as if they’ve done something for a perceived injustice than to worry that the outcome might be worse than what they were trying to remedy.
Disparate impact is a misuse and misunderstanding of percentages and human behavior.
Suspensions aren’t caused by racial bias in school disciplinary standards.
They are in large part due to ineffective and bad parenting.
Why can’t Leftist educrats admit this?
To their credit, MMSD continued to provide education to disruptive kids even as they were being expelled Mrs. GDHM met them off-campus, at neutral sites: library’s, public facilities and churches. Because I was concerned for her personal safety and to assess the risk, I always went with her on the initial meeting. As a large, hairy brute, I’d no trouble making my message clear, You can choose your choices, but you can’t always choose your consequences. Behave.”
There’s one caution that needs to be heard by MMSD’s school board. It’s by Dr. Thomas Sowell,
“You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization, … including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain, … without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large. There’s a deadly costs to public school’s social engineering. You eventually erode the faith people have in the law. And once people no longer have faith in the law, you cannot hire enough police officers to maintain law and order. When the lawbreakers are a small group, the cops can keep that under control, but once the idea that the law is unnecessary and it becomes pervasive, then society is in a very dangerous situation.”
Lefties have created so many “rights” for disruptive students that a few classroom clowns are able in many cases to destroy any hope of educating the rest of the students. It’s not fair for the regular student to have to walk a gauntlet of abuse just to get to his next class.
The root cause commonality for disruptive students isn’t bad teachers, it’s bad permissive, proglobotic public policy. Many of these kids never had a manly role model to instill discipline or proper societal behavior. Combined with soft-on-discipline policy and the lack of fathers, the student is destined for failure. A quality educational opportunity is their one chance to escape generational poverty. The wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democrats, The Teacher’s Union, blocks any School Choice, Vouchers/Academies.
To deny minority kids a quality educational opportunity is just plain evil.
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A way good post Dogman. Thanks for taking the time.
Mrs. Dogman has helped more students than the feckless, clueless, ideologically ignorant, destructive school board, and anti-education anarchist Freedom Inc. combined.
I always wonder what happens to the students, mostly black, after they graduate without any fundamental marketable skills? One only has to listen to how they communicate to grasp what a small world of opportunity awaits them.
Alas, it is the white, patriarchal, racist system, that is to blame.
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A lengthy read here, sorry. And NOT MDSN school district, (Dane County) just ONE local HS, but please check the links provided. I hadda double-check that these were all from OUR Oregon WI High School… I didn’t know there was another factor to that l’il gal @ Oregon HS gettin’ molested some years ago & NOW posting to youtube a couple days ago. Doesn’t seem like any story has legs. Yet…
If this l’il school can cover it’s tracks, it seems MMSD is w-a-a-y more successful
November 30th, The Oregon Observer…
In September, district administrators were made aware of a website hosted in a foreign country that featured photos of OHS students without their consent, district public information officer Erika Mundinger told the Observer last week. Administrators had turned information over to the police Department, and at that time, chose not to send out a school-wide message, in an attempt to prevent others from going to the website, she said.
12/3/21 Madison.com https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/local_schools/in-youtube-video-oregon-high-school-senior-alleges-sexual-assault-faults-district-police-response/article_21e0b0e0-9a90-5812-bd17-266bbc50d23d.html
An Oregon High School senior took to YouTube to share her experience as a survivor of sexual assault, and to criticize the Oregon School District and Oregon Police Department for what she said was inadequate handling of the allegation.
In the video posted Sunday, the girl said she had wanted to address the topic at an all-school assembly at Oregon High School but the request was denied, so she chose the even more public forum of YouTube to speak about the assault she said occurred years earlier.
Oh, Snap -There’s more !
The future of Oregon’s iconic Shadow Drum and Bugle Corps is in doubt after the number of women alleging inappropriate “grooming” contacts with a former senior staff member has risen to 13.
The organization chose to not renew a contract in May for David Henzie-Skogen, 42, after he admitted to allegations of an “inappropriate texting relationship” with a student that turned into a romantic relationship once she turned 18, Shadow board president Ken McGlauchlen told the Observer.
On Oct. 4, Shadow went public with that allegation with a statement on its Facebook page and website. That followed three additional women coming forward with similar stories, McGlauchlen said. (Me: THIRTEEN accusers !)
It must be National Long Boring Post Day.
Making light of sexual assault and how it was handled by authorities is real classy richie.
It is unfortunate that Blaska has failed to keep his word and *ban your ass for all eternity* if one more misuse of your vs you’re, which you recently did.
Great article and thanks for doing the research.
Any idea what “Other School Rule Violations” entails? I can just see the woke pointing to the small jump in the TOTAL number and declaring this as some sort of victory.
“The simple fact is this: black boys do commit more violent offenses in public schools than other kids.”
Candace Owen & other black conservative leaders say similar things. Truthfulness is the only way real change will occur. To blame academic & arrest discrepancies on “white privilege” is not helpful to anyone, especially not to minority kids. Anyone who knowingly perpetuates this lie, especially for career advancement, is a fake and a coward.
“Discipline is crucial to success. Discipline is mastering a skill, finishing an assignment, peaceably resolving disputes. We should not be race-shamed from teaching that precious skill to our children.”
Right on! I remember when you ran for school board, Progressives would ride you for your use of the word “discipline.” I admire YOUR courage.