School must address behavior crisis -- Jenny Walter

March 26, 2019 GMT

Student behavior is at a crisis stage in Madison Public Schools.

Madison School Board members and Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham must wake up to the effects of this crisis -- for the sake of students, their families, teachers, staff, principals and our community. They must live up to their responsibility of successfully implementing an effective (not just new) Behavioral Education Plan. Otherwise, the district’s vision that “every school will be a thriving school that prepares every student to graduate ready for college, career and community,” will not be realized.

At my granddaughter’s elementary school, I recently observed the effects of violent student behavior -- classroom lockouts, staff and student injuries, guarded classrooms, school damage and police involvement.

Unless you are present in the hallways, you can’t know the full impact of the behavior crisis on learning, teaching, safety, environment and families or the astronomical amount of educational time lost.

Where is the needed allocation of funds for alternative programming? Emergency support? Behavior specialists? Psychologists? Staff training? What will bridge the gap between home and school for families most in need?

Voters must advocate, encourage, volunteer and speak out. Write letters and emails. Go to School Board meetings and question administrators. Support teachers and hug your child.

Jenny Walter, Madison