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Student candidate for La Crosse school board claims school leaders don’t want him to post video about drug use at Central High



FILE - Adam Manka holds news conference on Nov. 30th, 2023, to announce his run for La Crosse School Board. (photo: Brad Williams)

A Central High student running for the La Crosse School Board said the school district is telling him not to post videos online about drug problems at his school.

Adam Manka is making reducing drug use one of the key issues of his campaign for the board.

Manka told WIZM News that school officials warned him against putting a video online showing a Central restroom door that’s bolted shut, in an apparent response to drug use.

A closed restroom door at La Crosse Central (contributed photo)
This sign is pictured on a restroom door at Central (contributed photo: Adam Manka)

“What it is, it’s just simply me, pointing at the bathroom that’s bolted down, and just saying, ‘Hey, this is here,'” Manka said. “There is a big drug problem. This is one of the bathrooms that had some of the worst drug problems. An hour before I did the recording, it was literally students that were pulled out due to the drug problem. And the school administration did not want me to post that.”

Manka said he has been careful not to violate the privacy of other students in making a video about drug abuse at Central.

He added that earlier this fall, he spoke with La Crosse school board members about his own investigation of drugs in schools, and he looked into whether he could be prevented from posting an image of the locked door.

“I found out that we do have a right to post,” he said. “There’s nothing in Wisconsin statutes” about posting the images.

Manka has planned a news conference for Monday to talk at greater length about drugs and censorship.

He’s running for one of three seats at stake in La Crosse’s April school board race.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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  1. Bob N.

    December 11, 2023 at 6:41 am

    Seems like the SRO (police officer) could move his desk in there for a few weeks. If the administration has given up on supervising conduct in the hallways and bathrooms, Central is in worse shape than we thought. No wonder enrollment is dropping like a rock in the La Crosse schools.

    • Willie

      December 11, 2023 at 10:51 pm

      The SRO program was cut back a year or so ago. Another brilliant move by the district and an obedient school board. This, despite there are over 750 calls to police each year from the la crosse school district. Insanity.

  2. Jim Dahl

    December 11, 2023 at 2:42 pm

    Who the fuck cates about drug use at a high school? Kid has no other opportunities and os trying,desperately to make a name for themselves. I have more Braunfels in my ballsackbthan this kid has between his ears.

  3. Jim Dahl

    December 11, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    Get a job Adam. Ever worked in your life you privilege fuck?

  4. Lonnie Hall

    December 12, 2023 at 1:09 am

    Bravo Adam!
    Making awareness of such a problem and it’s possible ramifications to all youth in attendance there is crucial to the public.
    You are the voice, now will they only listen
    and take more drastic steps to curb this obvious growing hazard. Good luck and stay

  5. Rick Ingalls

    December 12, 2023 at 7:39 am

    I really don’t think that drugs are the reason that school population is dropping let’s be real What is real that judges just slap people’s hands and not do anything about the drug problems and Parents need to do something and not leave it up to schools to discipline their kids Oh I forgot police teachers and parents can’t discipline kids that’s the problem

    • Bob N.

      December 12, 2023 at 9:14 am

      You’re blaming parents because Central lost control of a boy’s bathroom and had to shut it down?
      Pictures like that barricaded bathroom will cause plenty of parents to send kids elsewhere.

      • Nicholas Manka

        December 12, 2023 at 5:06 pm

        Parents of the children attending Central should have a right to be informed as well as the taxpayers funding our schools. It’s not the picture but the handling of the situation that “should” cause parents concern.

  6. Linda

    December 12, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    First and foremost, filming in a public restroom is not legal. Second, having a door barricaded is not the answer either. 3rd, I agree, punishment is not harsh enough and you have parents arguing that marijuana be legal. The drugs travelling across the nation are laced with fentanyl and it’s killing kids, young adults and even some adults. If the issue is drug use, MORE schools would be shut down, and, enrollment is dropping in ALL schools. There are kids who don’t even get fed because they are told that they ran out of food in the lunch line. Athletes have to ride with their parents to a game, because the bus is full. These are not student problems.

  7. Robert

    December 12, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Rick is correct-there are no consequences for anything anymore. School administrators will ask teachers which one of the 12 behavioral interventions they could/ should have implemented to stop the behavior.

  8. walden

    December 12, 2023 at 4:27 pm

    And no response from the School District?

  9. John

    December 12, 2023 at 9:13 pm

    Glad it’s finally being brought to attention.

    I was told at one point non students were inside the school selling drugs in the bathrooms, which school officials were aware of as well.

    Why did school officials turn a blind eye to known drug activity inside the school?

  10. David C

    December 13, 2023 at 5:59 am

    You are correct. The new emotionally Intelligent generation of children can not be punished because it is considered child abuse. So stop making it illegal for us to discipline our children the way we see fit to keep them off drugs and vapes.

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