District Superintendent Dan Nerad made the announcement at 11 p.m. Tuesday after 40 percent of the 2,600 members of the teacher's union had called in sick and more were expected to do so through Wednesday morning.
"At this ratio we have serious concerns about our ability to maintain safe and secure school environments," Nerad said in the announcement....
Earlier Tuesday, Nerad said teachers who take a sick day will be asked to show proof of a medical reason. Those who don't could face sanctions such as docked pay. Teachers aren't able to take a personal day with less than three days' notice.Okay, now, everybody go to the demonstration! The kids won't have school, but you can learn a lot of things outside of school. Some of these things are even taught by the teachers who are not there. For example, it's okay to call in sick when you're not actually sick, but you just have something that you think is really important.
Nerad's decision came after Madison Teachers Inc. executive director John Matthews said the union was contacting members and urging them to call in sick and instead attend a rally scheduled for Wednesday at the Capitol in opposition to Walker's collective bargaining proposal.I remember that. My sons were in the public schools here then. There was a lot of talk about whether it counted as significant dishonesty to claim to be sick when you were not and what kind of example that set for the youngsters. Many local people took the position that "sickouts" are a known and understood labor strategy and therefore not to be understood as actual lying lying. The obvious follow-up question on that argument is: What about the children — do they understand that? You will be considered very annoying around here if you advance to the confrontation level of asking that question.
The campaign is the first coordinated absence by Madison school employees in 16 years, Matthews said.
It's unclear whether school will be held Thursday or Friday.Well, the entire week is shot, isn't it? Oh, but the students are learning about political engagement and activism. I kind of agree. In fact, I've toyed with the idea that there should be no organized schooling at all. Why gather and trap the kids in buildings all day long? (Think of the carbon emissions if the imprisonment alone doesn't trouble you.) All the lessons and more could be put on the internet. Let all the students creatively or bumblingly pursue their own education according to the path they find for themselves, the way life itself works outside of school.
Also Tuesday, nearly 800 Madison East High School students — half the school — walked out to participate in a demonstration at the state Capitol. Students at West, Memorial and at other schools around the state — from Shullsburg to Sheboygan — also participated in demonstrations during school hours.
Other demonstrations and protests at schools in Wisconsin are scheduled for Wednesday.
East High senior Ona Powell, whose mother is a Madison teacher and father is a professor, coordinated the walkout through Facebook and word-of-mouth at school on Monday.
"I felt outraged that unions are being attacked and didn't want my mom hurt by this," Powell said.
As teachers beamed and offered thanks, student organizers in the hallways handed out signs identifying each as a "future worker, future voter," proclaiming this was a "Walk out for Walker out," and calling on the Legislature to "kill this bill."Kill the bill? Remember when the Tea Party gathered at the US Capitol and chanted "kill the bill" the day the health care bill was passed? That was considered terribly violent.
(Photo by Meade.)
Anyway, isn't it interesting how well the students used the internet to organize their political activity? Why not close all the schools altogether and let the students romp and play and be political and speak and learn via the internet and internet-organized activities... forever?
School's out for the day? School's out for the week? School's out forever!
Think outside the box! Think of the savings!