Indian River School Board May 23rd Discussion on LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide

screenshot of wide shot of the School Board of Indian River County. The board members are sitting on the dias with the Superintendent and School Board Attorney. From left to right: School Board Attorney Molly Shaddock, Superintendent Dr. David Moore, School Board Vice Chairman Dr. Peggy Jones, School Board Member Jackie Rosario, School Board Member Teri Barenborg's seat was absent as she on Zoom during that meeting, School Board Member Dr. Mara Schiff and School Board Member Brian Barefoot
May 29th, 2022

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a two part article on the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide, as it was discussed at the School District of Indian River County’s General Business Meeting. You can click here to read Part 1.

Recently, prior to the May 23rd School District of Indian River County General Business Meeting, there has been concern from members of the Community about the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide, due to how somethings were worded in that. The guide is supposed to be an internal guide to help administrators in the School District determine how to handle certain situations as specified in the guide. School Superintendent Dr. David Moore earlier in the meeting clarified how the guide has been written, has not reflected the “reality” of how the recommendations in the guide are actually used. He said there are definitely revisions that can be made to the guide.

When it came time to discuss the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide during the discussion portion of the meeting, School Board Member Ms. Jackie Rosario was the first to speak.

Ms. Jackie Rosario had said that she found the LGBTQ+ Resource Guide and referred to it as a “policy.” She said this is School District Policy 1030.01, which is called “Development of Administrative Procedures.” She went on to say that the School Board has delegated the authority to Develop Administrative Procedures to implement Policy passed by the School Board. She then said, after some explanation, it is the School Board’s responsibility to vote on and adopt Administrative Procedures. When the Superintendent brings the School Board procedures, the School Board votes on Procedures. Ms. Rosario added “further, when the judgment of the Superintendent adoption of the board is advisable, the adoption of set procedures shall be recommended by Superintendent for adoption. All administrative procedures shall be consistent with adopted policies,” those that have come to the board for a vote. She said that the District may distribute student handbooks and administrative handbooks to help implement board policy. The handbooks and procedures distributed have to be “consistent” with School Board Policy or with State Law or Federal Law. The handbooks and procedures distributed will be considered an “extension of the policy manual.”

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The specific area Ms. Rosario was discussing with the LGBTQ+ Administrative Guide and the Administrative Procedures (of which she requested to add for discussion, as the previous agenda item) was that she found the development of administrative procedures was not followed.

She said regarding the LGBTQ+ Administrative Guide “this can be called a guide, a resource, whatever you want, but essentially it’s giving instructions to administrators to do something and it is tied to two policies, Mrs. Dampier sent an email with the explanation of the changes, tied to two policies, Policy 22.66 and Policy 22.60. It is also stated in here, it is tied to a State law, 1006.205 and the Title IX Federal Law. All of which, because they are tied to policy, State Law and Federal Law, they should be either procedure or handbook, adopted by the board. It is not appropriate for the district to move forward with this “guide” without having, been vetted through and to board members for an adoption, for a vote.” “to all extent, Paul Westcott” (during his public input) “made a very good point, “policy first, and then procedure.” In this case, there is no policy to support this procedure. Because there is no policy to support this procedure, what I wanted to put onto action was taking it off completely and waiting, because there is a secondary portion of this that is tied to the Parents Rights in Education Bill.” She said the Parents Rights in Education Bill was signed recently into law, HB 1557, and said Section 2 of the bill says: “By June 30, 2023, the Department of Education shall review and update, as necessary, school counseling frameworks and standards; educator practices and professional conduct principles; and any other student services personnel guidelines, standards, or frameworks in accordance with the requirements of this act.”

After citing that part of the bill, Ms. Rosario said the School District had been putting “the cart before the horse, twice, you have an administrative guide that is not tied to a policy, that is not tied to a procedure, or a handbook, either way, has not been vetted by members, nor has been voted on and we are waiting on guidance from the DOE [Florida Department of Education] on what those standards and frameworks should look like, for this to even be considered. So that is my discussion item, if I need to put [video cuts out for a moment] back on, so that we can vote on it, but I’m hoping there can be consenuss to put everything on hold, hold the horses, pull back the reins, take a step back from whatever this is, not even discussing the content of it, but discussing the process of how it was done.”

Ms. Rosario said the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide was created in 2019-2020, without board “acknowledgment, approval, view or vote or anything.” She went on to say “now it was just revised without coming to” the board. She also said “aside feeling like that’s pretty shady, that’s not tied to policy and therefore should be removed completely until the right process and procedure is in place for us to deal with this appropriately.

Dr. Jones then opened up the meeting to discussion and comment from the board members.

The first board member to speak afer Ms. Rosario was School Board Chairman Teri Barenborg.

Mrs. Barenborg asked to speak after Ms. Rosario since she had initally found the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide a few months prior.

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The first thing Mrs. Barenborg mentions is that the previous LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide was sent to her by a concerned teacher in the District when that teacher received it in a faculty meeting. When Ms. Barenborg received the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide a few months prior, she had called Superintendent Dr. David Moore about it. Dr. Moore told Mrs. Barenborg that the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide was sent out by mistake and that he would take care of it. Mrs. Barenborg wasn’t aware that the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide was still being sent to Principal’s in the School District.

Mrs. Barenborg said she has several concerns about the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide, since parents were left out of the loop.

She mentioned “pronouns are being changed, athletics was not even discussed by” the School Board, so to Mrs. Barenborg, she found to her, it did not “seem transparent.”

She also pointed out that the School Board did not get a chance to hear about this document or discuss it.

Mrs. Barenborg knows that there are a lot of “day to day procedures” that Dr. Moore does, but she felt that specific document, the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide, should have come before the School Board, since it’s a “hot topic.”

Mrs. Barenborg said she specifically had concerns about Action 2: Student Privacy, where it says “without the students or parents rights.” Action 2: Student Privacy was about ensuring Student Privacy about their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, that it would not be shared without the permission of parents or a student who is 18 years old or older. Due to how the “without the students or parents rights” was written, it could very easily be interpreted to mean that minor students would be able override their parents on divulging that information.

Mrs. Barenborg also raised concern about Action 3: Names and Pronouns in that it did not include Parental Permission. She said Action 4: Restrooms and Locker Rooms had not been discussed by the School Board; Mrs. Barenborg specifically mentioned “how will parents and students that may be uncomfortable with this be included or informed. Where it says “accommodations should be student driven,” she asks “what about parental decisions?”

Her last area of concern was Action 5: Interscholastic Athletics. Mrs. Barenborg pointed to State Law “concerning” athletics. She said all students should “have and feels safe and comfortable at school. All students not at the cost of other students rights.”

She pointed out how the Federal Government determines the Title and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilites Educaiton Act) laws while the Florida Department of Education and State Legislature determine all the State Laws. Mrs. Barenborg went on to say regarding the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide, she stated “whose law is more important” when talking about which set of law to follow. She pointed to the various laws in Florida, such as Parental Rights and Athletics Laws. She said these laws need to be followed by the School District. She said the School District does not “parent children” and that their job is to “educate” children and “communicate with their parents.” She said “parents make final decisions regarding students’ health, both mental and physical. The school year is almost over, we need to have an understanding of what this guide is and I think it needs to go to the Attorney General as we’re in between Title IX (a Federal Anti-Discrimination Law) and the State Laws.”

Mrs. Barenborg had recently asked Dr. Moore to look into creating single use bathrooms and “formally made” the request again on the spot when she spoke at the School Board meeting.

The next Board Member who spoke was School Board Member Brian Barefoot. Mr. Barefoot had a few questions regarding the guide. He said “this policy is nine years old, the proceudres that we’re talking about were put in place five, six, seven years ago. Is that correct? And they’ve been edited.” He said to Dr. Moore that he inherited the procedures and asked him if they were already in place when he came to the School District a few years ago. Dr. Moore responded by saying that they he thinks the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide had already been in-development when he started working in the School District. Dr. Moore does not know if this was pushed out prior to him working in the School District, but it was being worked on.

Mr. Barefoot then asked Dr. Moore if the first version of the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide was created when Dr. Moore first started working in the District and that it was amended last year. Dr. Moore said “yes that is correct, it was updated earlier this calendar year.” Ms. Rosario pointed out that it was updated the prior month in April of 2022. Ms. Rosario said it was created in 2020 and that Dr. Moore was working in the District when it was created.

After a brief back and forth between Ms. Rosario and Mr. Barefoot over Mr. Barefoot’s questions, mainly for both to find common understanding among one another, Mr. Barefoot then said given the current discussion on the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide, “the reasonable thing to do is go back to the drawing board, have it reviewed, with all the various inputs, whether its Federal Law, whether its State Law, et cetera et cetera and whatever changes need to be made to it can be made and bring it back to the board.”

The next person to speak was School Board Member Dr. Mara Schiff. She had a few points to say on this. The first thing she mentioned was “this is one of those moments, we’ve talked about this before, where items get added at the last minute and then materials are handed out and we haven’t had sufficient time to look through the materials and backup, so just on a quick search Mrs. Rosario, that procedures have, that the Superintendent according to this, the Superintendent can devise and administer procedures consistent with board policy right (Ms. Rosario nods in agreement). So quick search correct me if I’m wrong, board policy 2260 non-discrimination and access to equal educational opportunity: “discrimination or harassment can be devastating to an individuals’ academic progress, social relationship,” I’m not going to read the whole policy but there is a policy here, there is a policy, unless I’m misinterpreting because this was a quick search, [School Board Attorney] Ms. Shaddock correct me if I’m wrong, but there is a non-discrimination policy. The Superintendent is developing a procedure and a protocol consistent with board policy, that said, what is also true about this, so first off, there are many school guidelines that don’t come before the board. If the Superintendent had to bring every guideline before the board he’d never get his work done. That’s what we hired him to do, that’s his job, is to administer the district. We can’t completely hamstring the guy we hired to run the district. Now clearly this is controversial, clearly there are issues around this that people have really strong feelings about.”

Dr. Schiff continued on by saying “the guidelines, as I understand it, were under revision, they were not meant to be released in this moment, they were under revision to be consistent with laws that would come into effect July 1st[, 2022], I am correct on that Dr. Moore?”

Dr. Moore responded by saying “through the chair, there are required revisions as a result of that. There’s information we need to receive from the State, as I said earlier, there are cases that are currently being heard, that when they have a verdict may ultimately shift or modify it again so right, all correct.”

Dr. Schiff then said “So we’re clear that this is not a final document, this is not a completed document and this document is undergoing consistent review in order to be consistent with current law and we know that some laws are changing in a month and we’re reviewing those. Dr. Moore then interjected saying “through the chair, the answer is yes but as I put my eyes on the document and thoroughly review it, some of the way things are worded causes confusion for me and anyone else who reads it.” Dr. Schiff agrees and then asks “when you became aware of that, you went back to the document and were looking to revise that and charge staff to revise it am I correct?” Dr. Moore responded by saying “through the chair I asked staff to revise it they work with School Board Attorney [Molly Shaddock], they made revisions and they continue to provide that information to Principals, so the only modification is for me to take a deeper look at it, which I did not, in order to ensure that it was in fact communicated. The reality is this was not a procedure, this was a guide for Principals to answer questions based on the reality in their specific school. We have to have policy to provide guidance to Principals. I understand what Ms. Rosario is saying and respect what she is saying but adamantly disagree regarding procedure. It is delegated to me. If every procedure that I create and develop, whether it is me or whether it is this outstanding team that sits in front of us, that’s all you would do.

Dr. Moore went on to say “let me be honest, two years ago you hardly had any handbooks, you hardly had any procedures because staff was afraid to act. They were afraid to act. Why? Situations like this. This is why. What’s the outcome of that. Piss Poor Academic Outcomes, which is the six percent where we were” in the 2018-2019 school year, “below the previous district. So these are hard and difficult conversations, but we have to have them. And there are people, rightfully so, who are concerned with what they read. I will sent it to anybody. Look at it, give feedback. People in the room know I’ll meet with anybody, that’s my job, I am running the public’s school system and will engage in the dialogue and conversation to ensure no one is discriminated against. Absolutely no one. I will pause because I am on a soapbox, but the reality is…. I wish I would have thoroughly reviewed it because there’s some simple things said differently doesn’t change the meaning, but the interpretation, causes the ruckus that is not the reality. And that’s the frustrating point. The reality in schools is not the concerns that are being shared. This is not a concern in our schools. The athletic the way that was written is not a concern. It’s not a truth in our schools, yesterday, today and it will not be in the future. it’s about doing things the absolute right way and in some ways it will be conversation and dialogue that we’re gonna have to eat and I say we Board Members, put it on me, put it on me, because it is my administrative procedure, that yes I had staff create, yes I had that information shared with Principals I do not believe it is your responsibility to approve every procedure that I create, that is what is delegated to me in order to do and the day that has to be the reality, my ability to move at a thousand miles an hour, which is already going around less than that because of other things that are just not the priority around teaching and learning, becomes even slower, so let me if I could just ask the attorney, administrative procedures, am I in the wrong, what’s the reality.”

School Board Attorney Molly Shaddock said “yes through the chair, I agree that the Superintendent has the authority over procedures it is in the policy that we have in front of us 1030.01 which does say that school board delegates to the Superintendent the Authority to determine whether Administrative Procedures are needed to implement policies.

She went on to say “I would say though that I would not consider this document to be a policy or a procedure and not all documents fall into the realm of policies or procedures. You have memorandums, you have tables, you have Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs], you have presentations, you have all kinds of different ways of disseminating information to staff or to the public or you know other means of doing so and they’re not necessarily all policy or procedure. This to me reads mostly kind of like a frequently asked questions like it’s just intended to advise staff, but it’s also intended to tell them for specific instances to follow up with students services or legal so we can take it on a case-by-case basis as opposed to prescribing you know what I mean a specific “this is the law and this is what you have to follow. It doesn’t really have that authority.”

After Attorney Shaddock is cut off by Vice Chairman Dr. Peggy Jones, Dr. Schiff asks to finish her remarks, as her last seconds were paused on the clock. Dr. Jones was under the impression it was her turn to speak when it was really Dr. Schiff’s turn.

Dr. Schiff then says “what I want to make clear about this, it’s clear this needs some revisions, we’ve all acknowledged that, we’ve all acknowledged the input is helpful, we’ve all acknowledged it needs some revisions and we’ve all acknowledged that we want and need parental input into our policies, we want to work with families. There’s this story out there that I’m not in favor of that. It is 100% untrue as the person sitting on the board with a student who just graduated after just being in this District. I follow this stuff all the time. I want, what I see in this document and I want to be clear is that what it does, is it actually ensures consistency between and among our schools, between and among our administrators so that everyone is following the same information.”

After a comical moment with the timer going off, with Ms. Rosario on a serious note pointing out that the time is up for Dr. Schiff to speak. It then goes to Dr. Jones for her time to speak. There was a brief back and forth with Ms. Rosario and Dr. Schiff about this, with Ms. Rosario pointing out, in relation to a previous agenda item, that the rules for discussion among Board Members can be changed.

When a Board Member brings an Agenda Item for Discussion, the Board Member who adds the item gets only 10 minutes to speak on it. Then all the other board members, including the member who brought it, get 3 minutes to subsequently speak on the item. The discussion goes in a round Robin, which means discussion goes in a certain order until discussion is ended by the Board.

This moment can be viewed below in the embedded YouTube video in this article from 03:15:03-03:15:38

Dr. Jones said “we said this already, this is not a policy. One of the most important policies we have is nondiscrimination for all students. I think everyone would understand that. This was talked about a lot at one of our former meetings that it’s a Superintendent who has the authority to determine whether administrative procedures will be needed, that’s his authority. We also talked about how a lot of them are out of date, we had to change them.

She went on to say “I do not believe this is a shady thing, this went out on email. Email is a public document to Principals. And as we’ve all said there are revisions that need to be done when you look at it and with the law coming up in July 1, is being implemented. When [State] Representative Grall came to us to talk about the Parents Rights Bill, she said there would be some case studies, because there was some vagueness. So we’re trying to do our best to make sure we’re specific in what we’re telling our schools and our students. Just looking at this from a former Principal” (Dr. Jones was Principal of Sebastian River High School, “dress code is never an issue, we talk about that. Student privacy, we always keep our parents aware and we know that working with our students and parents together is the right thing to do.

Names and pronouns, this is when I was a Principal, we didn’t have an issue with that, we just had a few requests at that time though, but the teachers and students were fine. Actually I work with that at the State level with a couple things.

Restrooms and Locker Rooms we talked about with revision, maybe having single entry restrooms and so forth to take a look at so that no one, no one feels uncomfortable.

Interscholastic athletics, I was there for five years, there’ll always be an appeal process at the FHSAA no matter what. There’ll be an appeal process, but the Women’s Act Empowerment for Sports that’s pretty clear and like Dr. Moore said earlier, if you don’t have a girls team in wrestling, they could be on the boys team, the boys could not be on the girls team, I mean but that, that’s going to be pretty specific with the Florida Statute.

School functions bring same gender dates, they’ve been doing that for 20 years, at proms and so forth, homecoming, clubs, GSAs [Gay Straight Alliance], we have those at the high school and they’re working well.

Pride when you look at the Pride, is we, we don’t want anyone, anyone to feel uncomfortable when they’re coming to school and all parents would say that of all children, we don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable. So I understand that we’ve got a few revisions we’ve got to look at the athletics, making sure we’re good with our restrooms and locker rooms that there’s no doubt there, but when this all comes about as a resource guide, not a policy, not a procedure, Dr. Moore is in charge of the procedures, we’ll have to make sure it’s fair and equitable. And that’s our job for all students, thank you.”

Dr. Jones gives Dr. Moore one minute to speak.

Dr. Moore said was planning to “summarize after round one” of discussion on the agenda item.

He said “I have absolutely no issues the modifications and changes as are appropriate. I have absolutely no issues bringing it back to the board. I think as Ms. Barenborg mentioned, this is a hot topic, this is something that needs to be discussed and quite honestly, well and can be discussed, so as we make those changes or modifications, bringing it back to the board, I don’t any issues doing that ok, thank you.

It then goes to Ms. Rosario for her turn to speak. She has a few things she spoke about regarding the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide and thoughts from the current discussion.

The first is Ms. Rosario tells Attorney Shaddock regarding the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide, “with all due respect, this is not an FAQ [Fact Answers Questions], this is direction to to schools and as a school building administrator, they need direction from the Superintendent, what to do if they’re faced with a situaiton. If this is a resource guide, then they don’t have to follow it, because it’s just a guide, it doesn’t matter. If it’s a resource, it’s just a help, it doesn’t matter they don’t have to follow it. So if you’re out there and you receive a resource guide, you don’t have to follow it, but if it’s a policy, or if it’s a procedure then they have to follow it. So we’ve got to decide, even a handbook, what it is, it cannot be called a guide or a resource because anybody can ignore it. It needs to be something other, it needs to be direction to the school so they understand that if “I’m faced with this situation, how am I going to handle it; as an Administrator, this is how I’m going to handle it.”

Secondly, Dr. Moore you did mention we can review it, you did say this is your administrative procedure so you can rewind it and you did say that. So this being an administrative procedure we have a policy that very clearly outlines how to create administrative procedures. Whether you agree with it or not, it is policy and it is legal and binding that any procedure, handbook, administrative procedure, or handbook that you are delegated to create, has to come to the board to be adopted, to be adopted. There is an adoption process and a voting 1030.01 is very clear on that.””

Ms. Rosario continues saying “secondly, Dr. Moore you did mention we can review it, you did say this is your administrative procedure so you can rewind it and you did say that. So this being an administrative procedure we have a policy that very clearly outlines how to create administrative procedures. Whether you agree with it or not, it is policy and it is legal and binding that any procedure, handbook, administrative procedure, or handbook that you are delegated to create, has to come to the board to be adopted, to be adopted. There is an adoption process and a voting 1030.01 is very clear on that.”

Ms. Rosario went on to say to Dr. Moore that if his procedures were not tied to policy, that he could hypothetically create procedures that could be any way that he wants it to be.

Ms. Rosario continued saying “if a procedure is tied to a policy or a law,” “it has to come to come to the board for adoption whether you like it or not it is written in black and white as our policy. Policy. Policy. Policy Manual.” She then went to cite a part of the School Board policy and then stopped to say she “can’t even believe that people are like no” that policy does not exist. Ms. Rosario then said “it is a it is policy is law” and then she pointed out that she still has 25 seconds to speak, with Dr. Jones affirming this. Ms. Rosario said to Dr. Schiff “I didn’t mention anything with other policies because we’re not in that discussion for other policies we do have other policies that this guide mentions, 2260 is one of them. We do have a non-discrimination policy, both for equal access opportunity and for the basis of sex.”

When Dr. Jones asks who wants to speak in the second round of discussion, Mr. Barefoot had “nothing else to say.” Dr. Schiff then took her turn to speak.

She said “you know, there actually is a lot more to say I’m just not sure we’re going to get anywhere and I don’t know that it’s productive to rpolong the conversation because we have a variety of perspectives about this, we know that this document will come back for further discussion so I think Dr. Moore made an excellent point, that what we should be concerned about is what actually is happening here, not what’s not happening here. It is a handful of times where this has come up as an issue where there have been specific conversations with parents and students about what to do. I believe we do need direction for administrators. We need consistency in the district and we need to protect the rights of all students and all families here and I strongly advocate that I think this document is a step towards doing that and when it comes back to us, having been refined in the ways Dr. Moore says and consistent with upcoming law we will be able to make the assessment how it best serves our district. There’s a lot more I could say about this. The point of it actually is to be consistent with the Parental Bill of Rights, with the Parental Rights in Education Law that will will go into effect on July 1st.”

Dr. Schiff went on to say “there is much about this that we can continue discussion there’s also much about it that is not about new law, it’s actually about old law. You know, dress code laws are 1969; GSA laws are 1984, Equal Rights Act, those are not new. So there’s only a few things here that are new that we have to ensure that we are consistent with law and policy on and I think Dr. Moore has said over and over again he will bring those back for discussion.

Dr. Jones then asked Mrs. Barenborg if she had anything else to say and she did not.

Dr. Jones said for her “final comment,” “it states clearly that the Superintendent, we delegate to him for procedures and as you know there are hundreds of procedures out there in the schools and handbooks and so forth, and as a Principal you look at them and you see how you tie them to policy but if he sent us every procedure developed, I mean, he is the one running the school, we look at the procedures and we have been told several times” at this point Ms. Rosario is holding up a print out of the Procedure to Dr. Jones. Dr. Jones then says to Ms. Rosario “I’ve read it.” As Ms. Rosario is still holding up the policy, Dr. Jones says “Ms. Rosario, please, I’m talking” implying that she’d like Ms. Rosario to back off. Ms. Rosario then asks if what she is doing “bothers” Dr. Jones. Dr. Jones said that does bother her and Ms. Rosario stopped what she was doing.

Dr. Jones went back to her remarks saying “superintendent works with procedures. We had a long board meeting about that once and because some procedures were changed, some were taken out, some are old and that is is his right to do. So Dr. Moore at this time, as far as revisions, can you give us a timeline or your team or getting the new law information?”

Dr. Moore spoke, saying “thank you Madam Chair. What I will do is following this meeting provide a communication to the board with a very, very specific time frame. I will clearly identify the opportunities to shift language so it is explicitly clear I will provide the pending cases that are out there in which we’re waiting that may have an impact on the changes, I will identify once we hear from the State [of Florida] any specific training that’s going to be provided regarding new law that is being put in place effective July 1. and then bring it back to the board no later than July and then every month moving forward until we have a final document that could be shared.”

Dr. Jones asked if anyone else had anything to say before “concluding” discussion on the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide, Ms. Rosario wanted to give final remarks.

Ms. Rosario said “yeah I’d like to make note again that whether we like it or not, if he has to bring us 500 procedures for us to approve, that is what we have in policy. Whether we like it or not, that is our policy. If we get into the habit of deciding like we did with the law, which if you all did it with the law, I’m sure you’re gonna do it with the procedure, ignoring that we have a policy, then we might as well not even follow it.” Ms. Rosario that satarically and sarcastically said in response to previous law breaking and her perceived lack of interest in following School Board policy by her fellow Board Members “don’t follow law, don’t follow procedure, don’t follow anything. Do what ever you want and have a free-for-all.”

Ms. Rosario then said “we have a policy in place so that we can govern ourselves, our policy is our policy, is our policy and it says “that all administrative procedures shall be consistent with adopted policies and shall describe the manner in which those policies are to be implemented and with handbooks they are all to come to us for adoption. It is what it is, whether we like it or not I will work, I will work 40 hours a week if you need me to come in and vote, that is my job, that is what I ran to do.” She said that was why she was elected to be a School Board Member.

Ms. Rosario went on to say “if you need me to work four meetings a month to approve procedures, I will come in four days a month, whatever it is for meetings, doesn’t matter. That is our job as elected officials, to make sure that the policies and procedures are in place, to adopt budget, to oversee the work of the Superintendent, because he and Ms. Shaddock are our only immediate hires. They are our employees.”

Dr. Jones gave a last statement on the development of administrative procedures. She said “the first line says “the school board delegates to the Superintendent the authority to determine whether administrative procedures will be needed to implement each of the policies adopted by the board. Whether this goes into policy or whether it stays as a resource guide or whatever it may be, that is how that begins.” Ms. Rosario interrupted saying “you should keep reading because you’re right this time” the policy that Dr. Jones was reading. Dr. Jones responded saying “no ma’am that was the very very beginning of it. We also discussed that at other meeting and we said that the Superintendent would be doing the procedures and that’s how that meeting ended.”

Dr. Jones asked if there was further discussion on the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide.

Mr. Barefoot said “just one last comment, we’re talking about about the policy and what follows from that, the procedures. Maybe we ought to review the policy. So if procedure follows policy and this policy is created the last 45 minutes, and I’d refer to the Gentleman [Lynn Shepard Jr.] sitting next I forgot your name excuse me” (Editor’s Note: the Parent, Mr. Barefoot was referring to is Lynn Shepard Jr., who spoke during public input earlier at that meeting) “then instead of talking about academic outcomes, which is what I joined the school board and trying to approve them, we have spent all this time and I’m withdrawing my discussion item, I’ll put it on a Workshop. We spent all this time talking about this and policies and procedures and what fault… I mean when are we going to start talking about improving… what we can do to help the Superintendent in the 22 schools under his responsibility to improve educational outcomes. This is getting to the point of ridiculousness. And I’m not saying that these discussions aren’t important, but they don’t need to go on for 45 minutes. Lets get back to reading, writing and arithmetic is what gentleman [Lynn Shepard Jr.] said earlier. We’ve been hijacked by and I understand we’re in that point in time in this country, but we’re getting hijacked with all these issues that are important to a lot of people, but the amount of time spent vis-a-vis talking about improving educational outcomes for our kids is what we ought to be doing.”

Ms. Rosario then asked if she could add something and Dr. Jones said “sure.” Ms. Rosario said “I would just add to that, that I agree with you [Mr. Barefoot], but such rogue processes, if we didn’t have such rogue “I’ll do whatever I want,” we wouldn’t have to have these conversations. If we would follow what we have in place, we wouldn’t have to have these conversations about why they’re not followed in the first place.”

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