Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grandview School Board Discusses GHS Power Problems, Sex Ed Policy

By Paul Thompson
An electrical problem at Grandview High School last week led to power outages in the 300 and 400 level hallways. The school was able to limit any further issues by powering the affected areas with a generator, but the district was forced to invoke an emergency clause in district policy in order to proceed with repairs without immediate board approval. An additional board item was created for the September 22 regular school board meeting, where the BOE unanimously approved a $15,800 estimate for repairs given by Staco Electric Company.
The problem stemmed from about 500 linear feet of wiring running from the north to the south boiler room that had been damaged. Staco Electric finished the job on Friday, and school was not affected this week. The $15,800 that was needed for the repairs was taken out of the Capital Projects fund.
A Missouri legislative bill passed in 2007 is impacting the school district’s policy language regarding the teaching of sexual education.
The Missouri School Board Association has suggested that school districts revise their policy to state that:
The Board of Education recognizes that parents/guardians are the primary source of sexuality education for their children...
and, in another part of the policy (entitled IGAEB):
The district will not permit a person or entity to offer, sponsor or furnish in any manner any course materials or instruction relating to human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases to its students if the person or entity is a provider of abortion services. District personnel or district agents will not encourage students to have an abortion.
GNEA President Rebeka McIntosh spoke against policy IGAEB at the September 22nd board meeting, stating that a narrow reading of the language would prohibit the teacher from using materials (such as pamphlets) obtained from hospitals.
“IGAEB is a really bad piece of legislation from 2007, and thankfully it has taken this long to get to us,” she said to the board. “This new language that requires such a narrow, narrow reading will prevent us from getting information from hospitals.”
McIntosh said that the proposed policy would eliminate a lot of sources of information for the students.
“We are currently using materials that are provided by people we could no longer use,” she said. “This has nothing to do with the agenda behind it. It has to do with the amount of information that would not be available.”
Board member Ann Fisher agreed that it would be prudent check the language more thoroughly before making a decision on policy IGAEB.
“I would agree, especially after listening to Rebeka, that we need to look at this language,” Fisher said. 
Three new district administrators were also welcomed at the meeting. The board got a chance to meet new Grandview Middle principal Jennifer Price, new Grandview Middle assistant principal Tim Moore, and new GHS assistant principal Brian Rudolph. All three candidates were promoted from within the district.

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