Parents speak out at Wauwatosa School Board meeting following incidents at Whitman, Tosa West
WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Two questionable incidents in the Wauwatosa School District have fired up parents. A number are at Monday night's school board meeting, calling for board members to take action.
One parent, who also works in the district, said there's a full-blown crisis at Whitman Middle School.
She personally knows of 40 physical fights this year alone, and Monday night, parents are questioning why there's a difference in schools on the east and west sides.
Early last week at Wauwatosa West, one student was caught with a gun and another with a box cutter.
"There were no words to describe what had happened. I'd like to use the word 'unbelievable,'" said Todd Dolgren, parent.
At Whitman Middle School, a staff member was put on administrative leave after initiating a conversation with a group of students about sex.
"I am asking you to work with me to ensure this never, ever happens again," said parent Danielle Long.
Adding to the problem, parents have since learned that staff member has been allowed to interact with students this year despite some recent criminal charges.
"Someone in the district knew about these criminal charges and let him return to work," said Long.
Parents repeatedly pointed out that most board members live on the east side, wondering whether they'd be more inclined to do something if their children were in west side schools.
"All of these events at Whitman and West are incredible frightening and I worry about the safety and wellness of students and staff," said parent Lynn Koehle.
"I have friends from other communities calling me and saying 'what is going on in Wauwatosa?' And to be honest with you, it's embarrassing," said Carolyn Niekirk, parent.
Parents say the board's doing a poor job of fostering a learning environment which holds students accountable for their actions and that the school needs to have high expectations with consequences.
Since the incident last week, the principal at Whitman submitted his resignation. The board approved that resignation Monday night.
Parents say they fear more good staff members will leave before the board does something to help.