Corbett School District Special Board Meeting on May 23, 2016
Public Comments regarding questionable student content on campus in print and via movies being shown. This is an extension of the board meeting notes provided here: Full board meeting notes.
Scott Trayhorn – Corbett parent/resident & teacher at West Orient Middle School:
“My name is Scott Trayhorn and I live off Northway in Springdale and I also happen to be a middle school teacher in a neighboring district. I’d like to address the board on the notion that parents trust educators and administration to stand in the place of parents, while they’re at school.
My son was in 7th grade in a Corbett classroom last year and came home with a book from the classroom library that had a story about a character that was a photographer, and I quote;
“Seth studied the layout, the girls a blonde and an Asian were going at each other with rubber sex toys, mother F-ing, goddamn, shit.”
There are big books coming home on a regular basis with adult content. I’m sorry that I have to bring that up and say it out loud, in fact I’m embarrassed.
As a citizen served by this district I was wondering how you would stand in place of the parents and think that a book like this should be available to students of the district? Much less middle schoolers, remember that 7th graders are 12 years old. I have that question and I also think that other parents would want to know how educators, admin, and the board would stand in place of the parents on an issue like this.
When brought to the attention of the superintendent by April & Eric Eaton, (and you’ll hear from Eric with a written document.) “We try to teach our students discernment” (superintendents response to Eatons) I agree with this to a certain extent but I also believe that we are adults and can have some discernment for ourselves. I was wondering what your answer would be, as the board standing in place of the parents. That’s where the schools get their power when students are in their institution.
At my district there’s a policy that I believe this district has also, that says that parents are to be notified when students are going to be viewing a PG or PG-13 movie. My 4th grade daughter who is 9, was shown a PG-13 movie against board policy by not informing me or my wife. It seems that there is not any regard for board policy as this is continuing to happen.
When I cannot trust the admin in these situations, how can I trust the admin, and the board as a reflection, when it comes to passing a bond and not having things nailed down in a bond? This becomes a trust issue when standing in place of the parents. I have that same responsibility when I teach my kids in my districts’ school.”
Todd – board chair: So I have a question, this was discussed with teachers and staff and was the process followed? Eric states he can answer that and proceeds to come forward for his public comment.
Eric Eaton, Corbett parent & resident:
“Hi my names Eric, you’ve already heard a little about the subject matter but I want to touch a little on trust and a few examples of how we feel trust reflects in the bond results, it starts with simple steps like this. I want to also bring the boards’ attention to extremely inappropriate subject matters, I won’t go into details, that my kids and many others are exposed to without our consent. Some topics include; very pro illegal immigration, sex, and suicide, just to name a few.
A year ago we brought this material to the attention of, we started with the teacher, then we went to the principal, then we went to the superintendent and we were assured it would be taken care of and now we’re here, and it breaks my heart. Just last week I was talking to my daughters’ friend and the same material is still being presented, just at a different campus. Again last week we discovered the same pro illegal immigration material we complained about was still being shown at the main campus middle school, again with no consent forms sent to parents from the school.
I’m here tonight to bring this to the boards’ attention. I’d planned to read a few quotes from the movies and books my children bring home but the subject matter is explicit language and would be too inappropriate for tonight’s meeting. So I’ll leave the board with a written summary for review.
What’s going on with our schools? Where’s our societies morals? Am I the only one who feels that reading the F word aloud in class, or having to read aloud conversations about mutual masturbation in a book is inappropriate? I mean is that appropriate? Bashing on our US immigration policy, that’s inappropriate, that’s also a big one. Anyway, I’m mad as hell and it breaks my heart to even have to go to the board with this. Please read it and give me your feedback.
Go Cards, and let’s get a bond passed to fix the school and clean up the other issues up here.
* No response was given from the board or the superintendent.
* Attached is the written summary referred to.
Notes taken by Karina Lande and directly from the audio recording of this board meeting.
Her comments: “I personally am in agreement with both these parents’ comments that these things are inappropriate. I also believe that there is very little oversight by our administration in regards to materials brought into our schools and the teachers choices of which selections to use in class. In fact our teachers for the most part design their own curriculum with minimal outside checks & balances. One may need to acknowledge a possible correlation with that allowed freedom, that they, and their union, are overly involved in the district politics? As well as the protection and not wanting of any changes to the system in place that does not seem to support oversight and accountability.”