Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Administrator Smaks Down Board

Someone, please tell me, what is this really all about? Some Board members asked to discuss separating by gender the middle and high school kids for certain portions of Sex Ed. You know, the talk on, as one board member put it, "Part A goes into part B and produces the phenomena of C and produces X and Y". Of course, real terms are used, but you get the graphic picture. Also included in the  proposed gender separation, was the condom, etc. demos and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. All in all, this takes about 2 or 3 days of the Human Growth and Development course. The Board members asked for a very small thing in the scheme of the school year, and it would only encompass 8th and 10th grades (grades 4 and 5 already separate by gender).
The four Board members who liked this idea were VP Williams, Clerk Weigand, Pheng, and Treasurer Parks. President Marquardt said very little and seemed on the fence, and Miller and Seitzer were very much opposed.
Some of the reasons the members gave for wanting gender separation were:
*Better discussions will be generated. It will be less stifling with boys and girls separated during these discussions.
*It is an innovative way to support better schools.
*Protection of children, especially the most shy and easily embarrassed
*Keeps the dignity and modesty intact, especially girls
*It is very doable with minimal changes to current way course is taught
*Some in community are shocked this isn't already being done
*It will allow kids the most comfortable setting to ask questions
*Why not try it, we might be surprised at how well it works!

By state statute, the school board must make the decision about whether or not to separate kids by gender for all or part of this course. Here is where I am totally confused. Why would a district administrator(s) fight this?
The director of curriculum, who makes well over $100,000.00 annually with salary and benefits, was red-faced as she chastised the board toward the end of the meeting.
One job of the board is to carry out mandatory laws of the state, which they were doing by deciding about this issue. They are also to determine policies to guide the administrators. They also approve the employment of all personnel with whom contracts are required (that is, they are the bosses of the administration)
It was a shocking event to see a red-faced administrator badgering the Board about their decision.
It leads me to ask again, "What is this really all about?"
Let's put this into context. This is just a couple of days from the school year. No curriculum changes were requested from any board member. The board members who liked this idea gave very good reasons why they wished to see this implemented. By law, it is their decision. The Board knew the administration was not recommending this change, but 4 members liked the idea. Finally, after sufficient badgering from the administration, it was decided to send out a survey asking parents if they are aware the class is not separated by gender in 8th and 10th grade, and if they would prefer that it is. Amazing, for 2 or 3 days of instruction, a survey is sent out! Weigand requested the Board have input into the survey. Neitzke commented, "It's your right."
Again, why would an administrator get so emotional and chastise the board for "mandating" this and taking away "choice"? Why would the Superintendent sit back and allow this? What is this really all about? I don't get it.

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