Ald. Bob Donovan
Press Release

Is MPS Truly Willing to Stand Against Hate?

Teacher Travis Sarandos must be held accountable for his despicable public remarks

By - Feb 5th, 2020 09:16 am

The Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) system makes much of the importance of inclusion, tolerance, diversity, and mutual respect. How, then, can it countenance the remarks made by Travis Sarandos, a teacher at the Milwaukee School of the Arts, via his Twitter account?

Shortly after political commentator Rush Limbaugh told his listeners he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, Mr. Sarandos took to Twitter and told his 1,323 followers he was glad. “(R)ush limbaugh absolutely should have to suffer from cancer,” he wrote in a post as lacking in proper English usage as it is in tact. “(I)t’s awesome that he’s dying, and hopefully it is as quick as it is painful.”

Not content to confine his rage to pundits, Mr. Sarandos earlier despaired for our collective future absent the extinction — the extinction, mind you — of Christian conservative voters. As a possible remedy to their presence in the voting public he suggested, “…maybe we poison the communion wine?”

Likely realizing he had been found out by WISN radio’s Mark Belling, Mr. Sarandos, as of last evening, had taken down his Twitter page. It would be easy enough to dismiss ill-written, juvenile nonsense like this were it not for his role in teaching our City’s young people. He is supposed to be an example of the inclusive, tolerant, and respectful spirit of the Milwaukee Public schools. He is clearly nothing of the sort. And he did not make his remarks in private. He made them on one of the most public of platforms where any of his students could easily have seen them.

In a referendum question on the Spring ballot, the MPS system will shortly be asking all Milwaukee residents to raise their taxes for its benefit. Its representatives must surely know that one of the questions many have about approving this referendum is whether the system will be good stewards of the money provided. If the MPS system is aware of Mr. Sarandos’ statements and has taken no corrective action, it is hard to make the case that it has its own house in order.

Mr. Sarandos’ remarks deserve discipline. In the meanwhile, he has no business in an MPS system classroom. –

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by Ald. Bob Donovan

Will No One Have the Courage and Good Sense to Postpone the Spring General Election?

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan March 31, 2020

In the Stand-Off Between Mayor Barrett and Chief Morales, Residents are the Real Losers

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan - March 9, 2020

Red Light Cameras Are Not the Cure for What Ails Milwaukee

A Long-Term Solution to Reckless Driving Will Require Leadership

6 thoughts on “Is MPS Truly Willing to Stand Against Hate?”

  1. mkwagner says:

    It is always easier to set the splinter in your neighbors’s eye than the log in your own. Donovan’s public life has been riddled with just the type of unacceptable remarks as those he accuses Sarandos. The same is true for Mark Belling. It appears that it is ok to hurl racist and demeaning remarks at communities of color, but do say anything bad about white men.

    When I heard Rush Limbaugh is fighting cancer I thought this is Karma coming home to roost. Throughout his career, Limbaugh’s radio presence has been one long continuous, hate-filled rant against those of us fighting for a more fair and justice country for everyone. He has again and again railed against healthcare reform. Well, now he is up to his ears in our healthcare system. I hope that eating his words is not too unpalatable for Rush.

  2. Duane says:

    I have a hard time feeling sorry for Limbaugh, making fun of someone suffering from Parkinsons was a pretty cruel act, as were the many racist remarks that became the staple of his radio program. He also made some rather cavalier remarks towards smoking such as “Firsthand smoke takes 50 years to kill people, if it does. Not everybody that smokes gets cancer. Now, it’s true that everybody who smokes dies, but so does everyone who eats carrots … I would like a medal for smoking cigars, is what I’m saying.” I guess he is at least getting his medal.

  3. Trmott says:

    How I may feel about Limbaugh (I don’t listen) is irrelevant. Those who choose to listen, what difference does it make? If he ever personally advocated or celebrated the death of a fellow citizen, (as the teacher did) that would be contemptable if not prosecutable.

    I am interested in knowing the examples of Limbaugh’s “many racist remarks”. And for that matter, such remarks from Mssrs Belling and Donovan, apart from the instance of Belling being suspended for using a perjorative term regarding Mexican-Americans.

    If by “racist remarks” you mean negative/opposition/critical comments about policy or actions advocated by a nonwhite individual, I’m pretty sure we’d easily find comments they’ve made against policies and actions advocated by whites…. probably as many or more of them proportionally considering the demographics around here. Belling and Donovan strike me as “equal opportunity critics”.

    Here, Donovan says: “Mr. Sarandos’ remarks deserve discipline. In the meanwhile, he has no business in an MPS system classroom.” For the record, while realizing that my agreement carries NO weight except that I pay his salary via taxes (and plenty of them), I concur. He should be invited to pursue a different career other than teaching public school teaching.

  4. steenwyr says:

    This just in, someone said something mean on Twitter and someone doesn’t like it.

    Mr Sarrandos’ personal remarks don’t necessarily mean that he’s unqualified to perform his duties as an educator.

  5. Barbara Richards says:

    From AVAZZ:

    1. Untrigger
    “Triggers” quickly move us to anger and fear – they steal our best and offer our worst. We all trigger all the time, but if we own our triggers as our own: “that’s my insecurity about x” then we can stop blaming others, stop being trolly, and start acting from love and wisdom.

    2. Listen for wisdom
    When we’re not triggered, we can listen deeply to the perspectives of others, as well as to ourselves – to the emotions of our heart, the reason of our heads, and the intuition of our gut – and we can listen for that quiet voice within that harmonizes all of these things, and suggests wisdom to us.

    3. Be kind AND strong
    Kindness without strength can be cowardice. And strength without kindness can be brutal. We need both love and strength, ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’, to successfully protect the things we hold precious and in common.

    4. Stop the Gossip, seek the truth
    Fake news, half-truths, smears, and disinformation motivated by emotion and agenda bring out the worst in all of us. People are fundamentally decent, but we are quick to embrace simple demonizations that justify the worst we do to each other. Let’s strive to see the human not the villain, and understand the often complex truth.

    I wish I was better at this… I keep trying…

  6. jayoak says:

    Well bar stool Bob, still at it. The pot calling the kettle black. Enjoy your retirement, you surely won’t be missed .
    Hey maybe you can replace Rush on his program while he is on medical leave. And for the record, I disagree with him
    on most issue’s but I still hope he can overcome this horrible diagnoses.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us