Author

Terrence Falk

Terrence Falk

Terrence Falk worked for more than 31 years as a Milwaukee Public School teacher and served for 12 years on the Milwaukee school board and as Milwaukee's representative to the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. He has written for Milwaukee Magazine, Shepherd Express, Science Magazine, Urban Milwaukee and School News.

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Signs supporting many student groups taken down at Waukesha schools

By: - January 10, 2022

A sign promoting the civil rights of disabled students was removed from a classroom in  a Waukesha school during winter break, following a directive from the Waukesha school administration instructing custodial staff to take down signs it deemed examples of prohibited political activism. The sign shows Lydia X.Z. Brown, an autistic adult and a disability […]

Sarah Whaley's Pride Flag, pinned up in her classroom before she was suspended for violating the Waukesha School District's ban on signs and symbols that make political statements | Photo courtesy of Sarah Whaley

Waukesha teacher suspended for rainbow flag

By: - December 16, 2021

Special education kindergarten teacher Sarah Whaley was given a one-day suspension on Dec. 8 for flying a rainbow Pride flag in her classroom in support of LGBTQ+ students. The Alliance for Education in Waukesha and the local teachers’ union are calling for all students and school staff members to wear rainbow clothing on Friday, Dec. […]

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Waukesha’s bullying problem

By: - November 16, 2021

“We have a more serious problem than signs; we have a bullying problem. It seems to have grown in the last year,” said Bill Baumgart, a Waukesha school board member at a Nov. 10 Waukesha school board meeting. At the beginning of the school year, Black Lives Matter signs were posted in many classrooms. Then […]

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Wisconsin school boards suspend participation with national association

By: - November 10, 2021

On Tuesday, Nov. 9, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) announced it was suspending participation with the National School Board Association (NSBA). This could be the first step toward leaving the national organization.  The WASB board of directors met over the weekend and considered all options. Under the organization’s rules, it appears that the […]

Parents, teachers, students and community members gather outside the Waukesha school district building on Wednesday, Oct 27 2021 to protest district policies banning signs supporting LGBTQ students and students of color, which they say has led to increased bullying | Photo by Terrence Falk

The Waukesha school firestorm grows hotter

By: - October 28, 2021

On Wednesday afternoon, about 30 parents, students, teachers and community members gathered outside the Waukesha school administration building to announce that they were delivering a letter to the superintendent objecting to his policy of removing pro-LGBTQ signs from schools. One student stated, “We have suffered in more ways than I can count.” She outlined how […]

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Waukesha School district suppresses LGBTQ student speech

By: - October 16, 2021

The Waukesha school district is facing  one potential lawsuit on top of another. The district is already dealing with  a lawsuit for not protecting students from COVID-19. Now it may be stepping on First Amendment, free speech rights as well. A grassroots organization called the Alliance for Education in Waukesha is organizing a petition against […]

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Milwaukee struggles to lower Black student suspensions

By: - October 15, 2021

In 2012, the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) suspension rate for Black students was 85% of the district’s total suspensions. Today little has changed according to a report presented to a school board committee on October 5. This is despite a January 2018 agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to reduce […]

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Anti-vaccine protesters stage a protest outside of the San Diego Unified School District office to protest a forced vaccination mandate for students on September 28, 2021 in San Diego, California. The School District was holding a virtual hearing on whether to enact a mandate for students to receive at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

How our current school board wars started

By: - October 1, 2021

On Thursday, the National School Boards Association sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal assistance to investigate and stop threats to school board members across the country, comparing the harassment to domestic terrorism. In Wisconsin, several school board members have quit in the middle of their terms; others are facing recalls; and […]

Welcoming Afghan school children

By: - September 29, 2021

James Sayavong knows what it’s like to be a refugee in America. His father was a military officer in Laos when the communists overran his country after the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam and the surrounding area. His mother buried documents in the yard for fear that the communist government would come after their family. […]

Young girls wearing protective masks running on sidewalk with backpacks for school.

No masks may mean fines, lawsuits and lost school insurance

By: - September 13, 2021

The television cameras were rolling as students boarded the yellow buses at Germantown’s Kennedy Middle School without face masks. Nor was a bus driver wearing his mask as he pulled away. Milwaukee WTMJ 4 interviewed Germantown Superintendent Brett Stousland who only said that the district “recommended” masks. Stousland stated to the camera that he was […]

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Milwaukee College Prep sticks with Milwaukee Public Schools

By: - August 3, 2021

Milwaukee College Prep (MCP) charter schools told the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) that it wanted out. It was terminating its charter with the district; the letter of termination would be received by the Milwaukee school board at its July 29 meeting. In the end, MCP stayed with MPS. It all came down to money.  MCP’s […]

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The limits of student poverty data

By: - July 23, 2021

On July 29, the Milwaukee school board will formally receive a letter from Milwaukee College Prep charter schools announcing that it is ending its relationship with Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). College Prep’s plan is to transfer its charters to UW-Milwaukee, taking with them some 2000 students. The dispute between the schools concerned additional payments College […]