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Rape And “Kids Will Be Kids”–Shocking Statement From Madison School District’s Joe Balles

April 16, 2019

News of a rape at a Madison high school stirred the community last week.  It is more than just another incident or criminal act that has made for headlines, as rape is a most violent and offensive crime.  A pair of 15 year old boys were arrested for the attack in a bathroom.

That is awful, in and of, itself.

Then came a response from the school district which shocked many, given the nature of the attack.

Joe Balles, the school district’s safety and security coordinator said, “Our buildings are full of kids, and kids will be kids. As terrible and tragic as that incident sounds, I would just ask that people just be patient. Our schools are very safe but there are incidents that are going to happen from time to time.”

The callous nature of the district response was shocking.   But more stunning still was the idea that “kids will be kids”.  It was just one phrase from saying “boys will be boys”!  I am appalled and incensed that this attitude exists from any part of the Madison School District.

“Kids will be kids” is the biggest cop-out for this school system that seems to have lost its guidance system and any sense of reasoning.  There is NO way for Balles to excuse or marginalize the aggressive behavior that took place at the expense of a teenage girl.  I am not sure how Balles was raised, or how he might be bringing up his children, but in no realm of reality does the acceptance of violent behavior get the approval of residents of this city.

To have stated that “kids will be kids” gives a wink and a nod that certain behaviors come from being male, or as with this case, allowing for toxic masculinity to cloud common sense.   I am not having any of his horse rot from Balles.

If that is the quality of thought that comes from the taxpayer money for his services to the district than, I for one, call for his resignation.    In 2019 what he said must not be tolerated.

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