Judge school security official Joe Balles by actions, not words -- Kenneth Axe

April 24, 2019

I have known Joe Balles, the Madison School District’s safety and security officer, for many years because of our work on a United Way committee. It pains me to see him attacked for one poor choice of words.

It was a mistake, as he immediately acknowledged, and does not represent who he is. It is actually refreshing to see someone admit an error these days. Balles is a good person who has worked tirelessly to better this community, including as a captain in the South Madison precinct. He does not condone violence or sexual assault in any way.

I can understand his detractors’ criticism of the phrase he used, as does he, but they should not judge the man by these few words, especially in light of a lifetime of good works.

Kenneth Axe, Stoughton