In a blog post Thursday, Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education candidate David Blaska mocked the restorative justice process, the concept of the “school-to-prison pipeline” and the Positive Behavior Support Coach position in MMSD schools, and cast the Whitehorse Middle School Dean of Students accused of assaulting an 11-year-old Black girl as the new schools superintendent.
The post, titled “Mr. Blaska Will be Your Positive Behavior Support Coach,” takes the form of a teacher lecturing a class of students who’ve been sent to him because they’ve been misbehaving.
“We do real restorative justice here,” he wrote. “This is not a daycare center. I am not a babysitter. I am the adult in the room. I speak, you listen. I teach, you learn.”
Restorative justice is a process through which people reconcile differences through mediated conversation and restitution rather than punishment.
“Let me repeat what our new school district superintendent, Mr. Mueller-Owens, told you at the school assembly to start the school year: No, you cannot hit a teacher and, as you just learned, we can and do touch a disruptive student when need be,” he wrote, referring to Rob Mueller-Owens, the Dean of Students who has suspended five days and remains on leave after a February 13 incident in which he pushed and threw to the ground an 11-year-old sixth grader and allegedly ripped three braids from her head. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne declined to file any charges.
Blaska, a proponent of police officers in schools, also wrote, “It’s your life, not mine. You need to know that Room 120 is the intersection of the school-to-prison pipeline the social justice warriors keep prattling about. If you want to come back to the sunlight, I will show you the way. If not, I’ll take you to our new middle school resource officer. His squad car is waiting outside. Your choice.
“Because you are NOT a victim, despite what the previous superintendent and the old school board kept saying. I don’t want to hear race, poverty, bad home life or any other excuses. If you have to work a little harder to overcome your adversities, then that is what you have to do.”
His opponent in the April 2 election, GSAFE director Ali Muldrow, declined to comment.