Milwaukee Transfers Violent Kids From School To School


In what one Milwaukee school principal calals “the dance of the lemons,” the most violent or disruptive children are regularly moved from school to school, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in the third of a series on school violence. Numbers weren’t available, but the newspaper described a “a system that treats disruptive, troubled students as someone else’s problem.” Students are recycled “until something really serious happens,” said a retired principal. “Then they get sent to correctional institutions or expelled altogether.”

There’s a growing consensus that the chronic movement needs to be stopped. First, the officials must decide which mental and behavioral services the school district should be expected to provide – and which the district can’t handle alone. “I don’t think we as a society have figured out how to treat those students so their behavior improves,” said Lori Cameron, a school psychologist. The district does not track the number of students transferred to other schools for behavioral reasons. Neither do many of the large high schools. Said the retired principal; “Many of them aren’t coming looking for a fresh start. They are looking for opportunities to continue their ways. If we don’t get on top of it, kids that were behaving themselves might now become involved in the melee.”


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