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David Blaska For Madison School Board

February 8, 2019

In this too-chaotic and bumptious city there are few times, it seems, when both ends of the divide have reason to come together.  Each end fights mightily for what they see as the just way to proceed.   Seasons come and go but many of the issues that create headlines, and deep divisions, persist.   Such is the reality of Madison schools.

There are many candidates this year who are vying for election to the school board.  All should be applauded for taking time and using lots of energy to stand for office.  But among the names that will appear on the ballot there is one which stands out, and in my estimation, deservedly so.

David Blaska has a message, that at first blush, may not sit well with the vested interests in the city who believe they speak for what is best when it comes to the education of our youth.  But if one can detach from group think it becomes clear that what Blaska offers is simply common sense.

I believe that kids are inherently curious.  They want to be surprised by what they do not know.  When classrooms function as they are meant to the desire of kids to return, and be again taken in by something new, can become infectious.  I suspect all my readers know how that felt about perhaps history, or for some, even math.  Kids like to be mentally challenged.

But they should not be placed in classrooms, or school settings, which are challenging when it comes to abusive behavior and actions leading to violence.  Students should not ever need to see a look come over a teacher’s face which reads of dread or deep concern.

Over the decades the role of teachers has widened to include the wearing of many hats.  Making sure to note which child comes to school hungry or (God forbid) with too many bruises are just part of their duties.  But we should never start to allow for teachers needing to be concerned about not only the safety of students, but also for their own well-being.  When a classroom becomes unsafe it speaks far louder about district policies, than the ability of one person to control a group of students.

Which brings us to the need of electing David Blaska to the Madison School Board.

Just as it takes a strong-willed teacher to stand up to the bullies in a classroom it also goes without saying it takes a strong voice to interject ideas–such as the ones we all grew up with as students during our childhoods–into the discussions of the board.   It has not been easy for Blaska to run this race as he faces the head-winds of the ‘education interests’.  But what these self-appointed ones in Madison forget is they they do not speak for all the citizens.

There are many parents, of all demographic breakdowns, which want some old-fashioned ideals for their kids, and the schools they attend.  Parents pay the taxes, get the kids ready and off to school, make sure they get home safely, insist on homework being done, and enough sleep for the following day.   Those parents have done their responsibility to their kids.

Then it is our turn to do right by those parents by demanding that the behavior policies of the schools align with common sense.   The first step in that process is by electing Blaska, who can and will, bring a competent, informed, and diverse voice to the meetings of the school board.

This race for the board is not about political perspective.  It is not about larger issues that can be debated, as my Granddad would say, “until the cows come home”.   This election is about making sure classrooms are safe for students and teachers alike.   This board seat concerns a topic that is as elemental as it gets when it comes to our schools.  Every voter can agree.

It is time the tail stops wagging the dog at Madison schools.

It is time to elect David Blaska.

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