Madison School Board would make decision on staff ‘racial incident’ discipline under proposals

Scott Girard:

On Jan. 11, the Madison School Board began evaluating new responses to staff racial incidents that would have the board make discipline decisions.

The conversation came at the end of a week in which the district’s communication on staff use of racial slurs received criticism from an independent hearing officer, who advised the district to overturn a disciplinary suspension given to a Nuestro Mundo social worker last year following her use of the N-word in a staff meeting.

The “zero tolerance” practice the district began using during the 2018-19 school year. Seven staff members were disciplined. The practice came under international scrutiny last fall when West High School security assistant Marlon Anderson was fired for using the N-word while telling a student not to call him that.

Ideas discussed Saturday included the School Board making decisions on any discipline related to a racial incident, focusing on a restorative process rather than a punitive one.

Despite spending far more than most taxpayer supported K-12 school districts, Madison has long tolerated disastrous reading results.