High Court Split Again On Educational Issue

7/15/11 – In another divided 4-to-3 vote, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled today that public schools do not have to provide an education to youngsters while they’re expelled. The Madison School District pressed the issue, after a circuit judge told school officials to provide an alternative education to a high school freshman who was expelled. The teen was expelled for up to three semesters, after he was caught trying to sell up to nine bags of marijuana at Madison East High in 2009. Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Flanagan said the district followed the proper procedures in expelling the teen – but he said it was still the school district’s responsibility to keep teaching him. They did so, but they still the challenged the order, saying the judge acted outside his authority. An appellate court agreed with the school district, and so did the Supreme Court today on a familiar, ideological 4-3 split. The conservative wing of David Prosser, Annette Ziegler, Michael Gableman, and Pat Roggensack sided with the school district. Justices Ann Walsh Bradley, Patrick Crooks, and Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson sided with the youngster. Prosser said the majority believe that schools are not responsible for kids they expel. But Crooks said schools still have an obligation to teach delinquent children.