Board Meeting Outcome
Don't Let Up
Last night, five members of the WCSD Board voted to approve the controversial - but revised - Equity Standards, which we totally expected. The good news is parents, students and community members from both perspectives showed up to respectfully offer their viewpoints.
The level of involvement was amazing to witness, and there was certainly a lot more common ground than anyone probably expected going into last night's meeting. Two big themes that stood out were:
Everyone wants every students to get the help they need. It was heartbreaking to hear story after story about students with special needs, unique barriers, mental or emotional issues, etc., who don't feel they're getting the right level of support to optimize their learning. This should be our top priority, but its unclear how the Equity Standards will have any positive impact. These Standards have already been in place for a over year now, and many parents would say they've caused more harm than good - especially for students with emotional and mental health needs.
Parents and students are tired of bullies. Bullying, judging and exclusion was the common denominator for the hurt, pain and suffering many Waukee students are experiencing. We do believe this is one of the issues WCSD is trying to solve with the Equity Standards, but the Board seems unwilling to admit its not off to a great start. School administrators will soon recognize its going to take a lot more than a list of controversial standards and action statements to fix this problem. No child, parent, teacher or human being deserves to be attacked, humiliated, judged or called names based on what they believe, how they feel or how they look. We must come together as a community and make it stop.
Stay tuned for next steps in our mission to ensure that diversity, equality and inclusion applies to ALL Waukee students. We must remain engaged and vigilant to monitor how the Equity Standards are interpreted and implemented in the classroom this upcoming school year.
It's important the Board continues to hear concerns and issues that are happening in our schools. According to the Equity Standards, Waukee students are required to take action when they see injustice - and so should we. Don't give up. Keep writing letters and making calls. Talk to your teachers and students to learn what's happening in the classroom. And check back with ItEndsWithUsWaukee soon as we are working on several ways to provide more exposure and transparency if and when incidents occur.
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Couldn't Make the Board Meeting?
Every parent, student, teacher and administrator deserves a big "thank you" for participating in this process. That's what being part of a community is all about. The WCSD Board also deserves a shout out for running the meeting so well and letting so many voices be heard. If you weren't able to make it, it's worth your time to watch, listen and understand all sides.
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