‘No surprise the Madison school behavior plan failed’

David Blaska:

A young man reached out to the Policy Werkes to relate his involvement in crafting the Madison school district’s Behavioral Education Plan. He asked that his name not be published as he wishes to have a career someday in Madison. This is his story:

As a Memorial high school student in the summer of 2015, I was approached to join an advisory committee on the Behavioral Education Plan’s classroom implementation plan. There were four meetings on the issue.The meetings’ goals were to simplify the BEP’s 20-something pages and nuances into something easy to adhere to by teachers and faculty whilst making decisions on the fly in the classroom. …

At one of the four meetings, there were was another student present although he was quiet and did not really share insight. One teacher was present for about 30 minutes at one of the meetings, but that was the only time an educator was ever present. Myself (a student in the district) and “community stakeholders” were the people who really were making up this committee.

… They were all lovely people to share insight with and they were generally interested in what I had to say. However, it became readily apparent that many of them had not had an honest view of a high school since the days when they themselves were students.

Playing hide and seek with school security

Some of them took part in the principal-for-a-day program the district runs which is not an accurate view of how our high school operated. This program specifically visits higher performing classes — honors or AP — and at that the classes were given a heads up to be on their best behavior.

… Students who were asked to leave the classroom and go to the office (either the dean or principal) … did not hesitate when given the opportunity to leave, which was a little bit of surprise to the stakeholders. But what really came as a surprise to them was the fact that the student did not actually go to the office.

These students would instead roam the hallways, mess around with their friends and create noisy distractions for students in classrooms actually trying to learn.

One teacher I talked to when trying to get insight for these meetings described incidents of these students practically playing hide and seek with school security for fun and to avoid going to class or to an administrators office.