What happens at fight club stays at East high school

Is it a PR problem?

“Nothing to see here,” Lt. Frank Drebin of Police Squad assured curious on-lookers as the burning fireworks factory blasted its colorful arsenal high into the sky.

Madison East high school has its own Frank Drebin in the person of Nikki Smith, the interim principal. (But aren’t they all interim these days?)

Principal Smith is outraged that her scholars recorded another fight at her institution. (Is Don Dunphy at ringside?) Outraged enough to alert parents. Not about the fight, about the recordings. A school wide dragnet  is underway to bring the young videographers to justice. No one with an iPhone is above suspicion. The interim principal warns:

“It is important to note, any student who records and shares videos of an altercation is subject to consequences following the Behavior Education Plan, leading up to out-of-school suspension. We will be working to identify and follow up with students who engaged in taunting, baiting, and inciting the altercation. [Oxford comma inserted.]

“This behavior is absolutely unacceptable and has no place in our school.”

Lt. Drebin

It is heartening to hear such unequivocal language emanating from Madison Metropolitan School District. No appeals to Equity, no mealy mouthing about disproportionality or implicit this or that. Buzz buzz buzz. Sounds like the sanctions awaiting these smartphone warriors would make even Vladimir Putin pee his pants. We can imagine a week’s worth of Restorative Justice, whatever that is. (Something like Breakfast Club, we suspect.)

As for the fight itself, nothing to see here — though bad enough to warrant calling in Chief Shon Barnes’ dreaded tonton macoutes and put an ambulance on standby. Standard operating procedure this school year — not the subject of the principal’s all-parent alert, only a dependent clause.


No, it’s those damn pictures, as Boss Tweed complained when muck-raking cartoonist Thomas Nast exposed his misdeeds. We can only conjecture how many thousands of views the smartphone videos have attracted in just two days. School board elections are a month and a half away. Republicans are writing parental rights legislation up the street. The optics are bad. Let’s hear what brother Bloggeur Greg Humphrey has to say:

I am stunned Smith sees the problem being the students who would digitally record the violence so that taxpayers who fund the schools could be made aware of what happens in the buildings. … In this time when everyone everywhere films at will, how are the fights in schools now forbidden to be captured?  Is the real issue the filming of the fight or the fact there are just so many violent acts at Madison East to be filmed?

Blaska agrees but hedges with a Yeah But. The Werkes cuts Principal Smith a couple inches of slack. The principal is correct to write, “intentionally being a spectator to such conflicts is unsafe, unhelpful, and can cause the situation to become more volatile and dangerous to our students and staff.”

Kids holding smartphones aloft aren’t exactly breaking up a fight. The attention likely encourages the combatants. We suspect some in the audience were rooting for their favorite. (The Werkes takes Juwon Howard in the third round.)

Blaska’s Bottom Line: We can be thankful that bystanders recorded Officer Chauvin and his team that day in Minneapolis. We agree with Greg Humphrey who says, “Madison schools could simply get tough on the ones who continually disrupt our schools. Because no one, not even an interim principal, should need to ponder what consequences students should face when fighting occurs on school grounds.”

What’s on your smartphone?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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6 Responses to What happens at fight club stays at East high school

  1. Mike says:

    True idiots running the schools. Suspend the videographer but no consequences for the fighting thugs. Liberal lunacy on full display.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One eye says:

    Same people don’t want police body cameras because the NARRATIVE will be destroyed by the TRUTH.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Gary L. Kriewald says:

      Another narrative that would be destroyed by the truth (if it were recorded) is that Madison schools don’t teach CRT (though, of course, they aren’t stupid enough to call it by its real name). Install video/audio recording equipment in every classroom and make the tapes readily available to every parent who wants to know what his/her kids are being taught and whether or not classrooms are indeed the “safe spaces” they’re touted to be or whether they’re being terrorized by a small number of thugs who know they’ll never be disciplined because their skin color immunizes them from the consequences of their disruptive behavior.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Almostarepublican says:

    I know two students that go to east and their attitude is quite ho hum about fighting. Often they don’t see it. It’s a big school. They hear about via social media.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gary L. Kriewald says:

      Out of sight, out of mind. That’s exactly the attitude that the fools in charge of MMSD want to cultivate among students and parents.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Balboa says:

    She is not upset that the altercations were being recorded on Cell Phones, she was worried that it would not seem equitable to those students that may not have newer or no phone at all. Remember, Everything is viewed through the lens of fairness. Remember because our current, systemically, racist economic system allows for some to have new, better or different goods and services than others, that is inherently unfair and and racist. I have a feeling if this was a gang of crackers beating up a person of color and the persons of color recorded the altercation it would totally acceptable to document the Hate and Race Crimes or would she come after those recording that situation.

    Liked by 1 person

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