June 7, 2007

“The public needs to know what’s going on.”

Posted in Statistics and reporting, Student violence at 4:18 pm by madisonparent

Today’s “Watchdog” section of Isthmus has a quick report (at the link, scroll down to the third item, titled “Dangerous work, take 2”) on recent incidents of violence in Madison schools against school staffers. In two of the incidents where staffers were injured, police declined to file criminal charges, citing the lack of criminal intent on the part of the student offenders. According to the item, one of these incidents occurred in early May at LaFollette High School. I was disappointed to find no mention of this (or other school-based incidents) in the latest newsletter from the Madison Police Department East District (whose boundaries includes LaFollette). In the past, the East District has been a standout among Madison police districts in providing detailed, thorough, straightforward and regularly updated news on incidents in schools within the police district’s boundaries. The East District newsletter has, to my mind, been the newsletter model that I had wished that the other districts would follow. This month, however, there’s an item about a program held to promote vehicle safety on prom night, and an item about last month’s lockdown; the usual list of school-based incidents is gone. We know from the item in Isthmus that at least one incident worthy of note took place; I hope that this doesn’t portend a trend toward less disclosure.

From Isthmus:

“The public needs to know what’s going on,” says the teacher, outraged that the boy who hit the staff member will not be charged. “That sends a really bad signal.”

Indeed it does.


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