School Board to discuss free expression, racism/harassment policies
The Oregon Trail School Board of Directors will meet virtually for a workshop at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 30. The topic of discussion: a review of policies that pertain to student safety and conduct.
While there isn't a time provided for the board to hear public comment in the meeting, parents, students and community members are welcome to email any comments or concerns related to the policies to be discussed to the board members in advance for consideration. The board members' contact information can be found online.
Board Chair Randy Carmony said the policies to be reviewed will include board policies AC, JFCA, JF/JFA, JFCFGBNA, JG and JFC. From the district's code of conduct document, which is available online , these policies mostly pertain to students' free expression, dress code, racism and harassment and the corresponding disciplinary procedures outlined for use by administrators. Policy AC is the language which guides the district itself to "promote nondiscrimination and an environment free of harassment based on an individual's race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, martial status, age or disability of any other persons with whom the individual associates."
The leaders of Students Advocating for Equality, who have been spearheading an effort to get the district to ban the image of the Confederate flag, establish leadership positions designated for students of color and students of the LGBTQIA+ community and implement reeducation on racial issues and history when students use racial slurs and hate symbols, requested to be included in the workshop, but the board declined. The group has sent in written and pre-recorded statements to the board to be considered in the Thursday discussion.
If you are interested in attending the virtual board workshop, use the link https://bit.ly/OTSDboardworkshop and the password 029247 to enter the Zoom meeting.
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