Second-grader's suspension for throwing an imaginary grenade raises ire locally, nationally
|Mary Blair Elementary in Loveland.|
Granted, Rumfelt isn't exactly an objective observer when it comes to the Thompson School District. Liberty Watch has been circulating a petition calling for greater transparency by the organization. The document, on view below, has collected around 100 signatures online and more than 200 more on hard copies, she says.
As for the suspension, she feels it's focused attention on "what's wrong with zero-tolerance policies. They don't allow kids to be kids, and they make it difficult for teachers. They're supposed to be encouraging kids to do critical thinking, to use their imagination, to learn how to be creative and innovative. But then you have these policies that really run counter to that. How can you have all of these things happening when you have a zero-tolerance policy that tells you what you can and can't pretend?"
Liberty Watch intends to keep the heat on the school district via a call to make the petition part of the next school board meeting, scheduled for February 20.
Until then, Rumfelt thinks the district needs to acknowledge mistakes when it comes to Alex Evans.
"If honesty is really the best policy, why not model that to the students?" she asks. "Why not come clean and say, 'Hey, we messed this up,' and then fix it?"
Here's the report about Alex from a TV station from Alabama, as shared by the Reporter-Herald; we subsequently learned it's a re-broadcast of the Fox31 piece. Also on view is the text of the petition, whose online home can be accessed by clicking here.
Liberty Watch petition:
Transparency in Education
Partners in Excellence: Students, Parents, Teachers & Community
Our children are the future of America and are the greatest asset of every community and we have an obligation to create an educational system that is Student Centered which utilizes all resources in a manner that promotes Educational Excellence and opportunities for our Children.
Budget and labor negotiations that are open will foster trust and create a better partnership amongst all stakeholders and accountability comes from an open process which is in the best interest of our students; our Children.
Sign the petition and support Students and Teachers with an open and accountable school district.
We therefore Petition the Thompson School District and the Board of Education, to place the requested policy changes below on the agenda for the February 20, 2013 business meeting for the district and Board to adopt as policy.
• The Thompson School District shall not collect or participate in the collection of, dues or fees of any kind from its employees for, or on behalf of, any labor union or labor union affiliated organization or any labor association.
• The Thompson School District shall not use any taxpayer funds to pay, directly or indirectly, any salary, wage, fringe benefits or other compensation of any kind whatsoever (whether or not such payments are reimbursed to the District) to any person for the purpose of such person serving, on either a full or part-time basis, as an office, director, employee, representative, or agent of a labor union, labor union-affiliated organization or labor association.
• The Thompson School District shall have an open and transparent process for negotiating with labor unions, labor-affiliated organizations or labor associations which allows all stakeholders to observe and understand the details of any and all contracts and memorandums of understanding that pertain to any of the aforementioned labor type organizations.
• The Thompson School District shall have an open and transparent budgeting process which provides for all stakeholders of the community an opportunity to review, submit questions or object to the annual proposed budget and to receive a response (s) at any time prior to the adoption of the annual budget as required by Colorado Revised Statues 22-44-110.
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