Watch the discussion via this video
The Madison School Board met on Monday night to discuss a new positive behavior support plan as well as a new code of conduct for students who attend Madison public schools.
The code of conduct has been under review for months by a committee who made recommendations to the board in a special meeting on Monday.
The meeting is especially timely after the highly publicized recordings of students fighting at Toki Middle School came to light last week.
Committee members will recommend making a few major revisions or additions to the code, including specifically banning voice or image recording.
Board members discussed safety, discipline and cell phones, which were all topics of importance that applied to the Toki situation, reported WISC-TV.
Madison’s new student code of conduct targets cell phones. Secret or hidden recordings are a serious offense that could get a student suspended or expelled.
“Cell phones and video cameras are being used in very wrong ways, to take pictures of tests, to film fighting, to record kids in the locker room, that’s just not acceptable,” said school board president Arlene Silviera. “I think we have to be very specific in the use of these types of devices — what can and what cannot be done.”
In an effort to give principals and administrators a chance to exercise discretion to expel a student who brings a weapon besides a gun to school, Madison school district officials are considering alterations to the language in the student codes of conduct.
Recommended revisions were discussed at Monday night’s School Board meeting.
The current rule for a first offense states that a student who has a weapon on school grounds besides a firearm, pellet gun or BB gun and isn’t carrying the weapon with an “intent to cause harm to another” will receive a five-day suspension. After a second offense, a student could face an expulsion recommendation.
The rule revision would give principals and administrators the option to expel the student for a first-time offense.
Dan Mallin, who works in legal services with the Madison Metropolitan School District and is a member of the committee drafting changes to the codes of conduct, said the rule change is meant to take into account a variety of circumstances.