Mom101: Mom, why’d a teacher get kicked in the head?

Bessie Cherry:

Above is a direct quote from the most recent edition of my daughter’s school newsletter, the Lapham Elementary Lookout. Parts of Madison’s Affiliated Alternatives program were moved into her K-2 school this year as a budget Band-Aid that kept Marquette and Lapham from consolidating into one large kid factory. At the time, the decision was steeped in controversy, politics, and emotion. I defaulted to the “for Affiliated Alternatives moving in” side as I vehemently opposed the consolidation option.
I like to think I’m an open-minded person, not the type of mom who’d get all freaked out about some alternative teens under the same roof as my young ‘un. I recall actually being intrigued by the idea that high school students would be attending school just one floor above my six-year-old. I know there was a moment in which I wondered why, exactly, these students needed an alternative to traditional high school, so I looked it up online. It seemed like a great program with educational options for every type of student, those who’d fallen behind in coursework, were pregnant, those who needed vocational skill training in addition to regular schoolwork, the inevitable et ceteras of adolescence. When I read the Lookout, I thought, smoking on school grounds! Tsk, tsk. Ah, well, nothing a kid couldn’t run into walking down the street. Could be worse.

7 thoughts on “Mom101: Mom, why’d a teacher get kicked in the head?”

  1. This article addresses a fairly important issue about a teacher getting kicked in the head at Lapham School, being sent off in an ambulance, and the school not notifying parents about it. I encourage everyone to follow the link and read the rest of it. The way it ends as quoted here doesn’t really get to the meat of Bessie’s thoughts, A better section to quote:
    This blip of a blurb was not on the Lapham Elementary website. It was not in my email inbox. It was not in a note in my daughter’s backpack. Nope, it was at School Information System, an excellent website I stumbled upon which, best I can tell, is comprised of the thoughts and facts going through the heads of school personnel, school board members, and others with a vested interest in Madison’s school system. (I’m inferring here; a thorough search of the site proved me neither right nor wrong).
    Within seconds of reading about the incident, the possibilities were closing in on my open mind. Who was fighting? What was it about? Was there gang violence at my child’s K-2 school (newsflash, folks, Dane County is hardly immune to youth gang activity)? Was it drug-related? Over a girl? Over a boy? How did the teacher get kicked in the head? How serious were her injuries? Which teacher was it? Did any of the students spy her getting carted off in the ambulance? How in the world would I answer any questions my daughter might have about what had happened? And why in the world did I find out about it while scanning a website?

  2. Maybe you were uninformed however, the information has been out there all along. You even cited some of it yourself. Your emotions got in the way while advocating for your child and you failed to acknowledge the evidence in front of you. The behavior of these high school kids is old news. I’m astonished that you were taken off guard. Seriously, what did you think “alternative” meant?

  3. In case I wasn’t clear, “…advocating for your child to keep the school open instead of consolidating them as the board originally voted…..”

  4. I don’t know IF the district has guidelines regarding what types of events require communication to be sent home to parents. I can recall, when my kids were in elementary school, letters from principals regarding bomb threats in the adjacent middle school, an all-school lockdown after a gun-related murder a block away, and a letter about a fire that a student started. There have been direct assaults by students on staff that never resulted in a letter to parents. So, I’m not sure if it was warranted in this situation, especially since we really do not know the details of the incident. Typically, our principals don’t send anything home without clearance from an Assistant Superintendent.

  5. I think Bessie was trying to point out that a teacher was sent out in an ambulance. The recent addition of Lapham Lookout mentions the incident, but not the teacher. I don’t have a child, but if I did I would want to know if that teacher was okay and if I had to explain what happened to my child.

  6. This incident was discussed at the Lapham/Marquette PTG meeting and according to staff involved, the account as it reads on SIS is pretty over-blown.
    A student was restrained and the incident was very quickly over. Police were called. The teacher was not actually injured and was taken to an urgent care facility, not the ER. It sounds like an ambulance was not really required, but was called for practical reasons.
    Since no elementary students were involved, in any danger, or witnessed the events, the principal chose not to send any information home.
    It’s not the sort of thing that’s routine at Madison elementary schools, but not unusual at high schools. So it’s stuff we L/M parents aren’t used to having around. More importantly though, the alternative high school students and staff have been very respectful of the elementary students and their families.

  7. I read the Blog by Bessie Cherry and question whether this person is really a Lapham Marquette parent.
    She writes:
    “I defaulted to the “for Affiliated Alternatives moving in” side as I vehemently opposed the consolidation option.”
    I clearly recall L/M parents being against consolidation ONLY. Locating the Alternatives in our neighborhood schools was not ever anything we advocated for and in fact we did not think it was our responsibility to determine where these programs would be housed. The Board and the Board alone is responsible for the Alternatives ending up at Lapham and Marquette. They made no provision for the Alternative programs when they didn’t sign the lease at Brearly. Bessie Cherry is trying to make parents take the blame for something we never advocated for.

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