Madison, Wis., schools look to make discipline about growth, not punishment

Monday, December 9, 2013

Add the Madison Metropolitan School District to the ranks of districts nationwide that are backing away from get-tough discipline codes that push struggling minority students out of the classroom.

MMSD has been reviewing the impact of its code of conduct, examining practices in other school districts, and talking to students, parents and teachers. They are considering developing a code that makes discipline an opportunity for education rather than mere punishment.

“We’re giving it a very hard look,” said Madison School Board member Dean Loumos, a member of an ad-hoc committee driving the project.

No specific proposal has yet been floated, and all school personnel interviewed for this story said there needs to be zero tolerance for some infractions, like possession of weapons and physical attacks on others.

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