I wish to make two points about the upcoming Spring Election, which includes a Madison School Board race of consequence.
In Seat 4 David Blaska is waging a write-in campaign in an effort to drive home the need to talk about some foundational issues of education. I ask that you support his candidacy and vote for him on Tuesday, April 5th.
For me, the curbing of violence at our city schools ranks as issues Number One, Two, and Three. Earlier this year a high school student was beaten so badly on school property that reconstructive dental surgery was required. There is no way I can simply assume that the current school board truly cares about curbing the violence. I do not see any evidence that the board even recognizes the growing frustration of the city due to its lack of concrete measures to deal with the problem.
In a candidate forum, Blaska said what many taxpayers feel.
“I don’t think the police criminalize those kids. I think the kids, through their own behavior, did…. Getting rid of the school resource officers, that was the capstone of a decade-long assault on school discipline. I would initiate a number of programs starting with returning the school resource police officers back to the schools. I would also jettison the Behavior Education Plan. Seven years in, it’s not working.”
On whether the school board needs to address the use of cellphones in the classroom, Blaska held up a paper grocery bag and said, “cell phones go in the bag and [students] can get them back afterwards.”
“This is a perfect example of how we’re running headlong away from [holding] kids responsible. There used to be guardrails for kids called adults,” said Blaska. “And yes, it’s in the kids’ nature to test the limits. But we keep moving the guardrails farther and farther out when they test the limits and what is the result? We have almost daily fights now and not just at East High School.”
It should be noted, and much to the dismay of many folks in Madison, that Ali Mudrow is so removed from just basic common sense she can not even bring herself to call for the end of cellphones in the classroom.
Muldrow dismissed concerns expressed by teachers and parents that cell phones are causing kids to check out while in class and may be contributing to online bullying that leads to high-profile fights that have made headlines all school year.
Clearly, we need some sanity on the school board.
Now, to the second issue, I wish to address.
Muldrow claimed in a separate Q and A column that Balska was a “Trump/Scott Walker supporter”. Using such a label is meant to alert voters in Madison to be wary. As a liberal Democrat, I call that unrelated malarky. In addition, it is not factual.
While it is true that Blaska is an actual decades-long conservative Republican it is also clear from his own blog and spoken words that he can not be lumped with Trump. After all, Trump is not a true Republican as he lacks any regard for fiscal accountability, free trade, or international alliances. Read Blaska’s own words since January 6th if you have any doubt, whatsoever about his views of Trump. I know how opposed Blaska was to Trump in 2016, and know he did not cast a ballot for him in that election.
Why it matters to bore down on this issue for a moment is because it demonstrates how Muldrow goes about her work on the taxpayer’s dime. Wild broad brush strokes at every issue–from rising violence at schools to dismissing cellphones, and assuming everyone within a political party must carry water for everyone else.
Meanwhile, working on board policy requires attention to detail, not just mouthing words to play to the loudest elements in our city. We simply must have a school board tethered to the best interests of our students, but we simply do not have that today. And it is placing students in unsafe classrooms with a reduction in class time learning.
When it comes to this school board race I am confident Balska is the best candidate because he does care about kids getting an education. He is determined to bring back order and discipline to the schools. How can anyone argue in favor of disruptive and violent schools?
Look, history is filled with the best steps occurring, both in our state and nation, when folks from both sides and with competing ideas focus on the mission at hand. No one can say there is not a growing level of violence in our public schools, or that teachers and students alike are not concerned–and at times frightened.
Never should any student have a beating so severe on school grounds that surgery is required and the student decides not to return to that school. To not candidly address this topic has been my reason for being vocal about the need for change on the board.
I ask you for your support and write-in vote for David Blaska for Seat 4 on April 5.