Eureka School Board
June 7th, 2021 Public Meeting
Summary
By Sally Durham

4:19 Pledge

5:15 General Public Comment- ground rules

6:28 Public- school lawyer- explaining current policies. School had to define sexual harassment. It hasn’t been done yet, but they’re working on it.

8:30 Public- Teacher apologizes for not getting parent permission before showing material. It won’t happen again.

9:51 Principal- reading complaints against the movie shown “Freida.” Moves over G rating need principal approval. PG or over requires parental consent. Consequences will follow for violating this policy. However, I won’t recommend termination. Apologies. The community reacted on both sides without all the facts.

12:42 Public- teachers apologize. Hard to hear. She was too far from the mic.

15:06 Public- Appreciate the apology. I believe in forgiveness. I hope this won’t tear this community apart. We all agree that the kids are the most important thing. I think we’re all trying our best.

18:04 Public- Appreciate the apology. I have a petition. Listed the kinds of media being shown in class. The class was supposed to share outside cultures, not pornography and violence. Pornography effects on children. Suicidal and drug use themes. This is a pattern of behavior over the years. Requesting investigation.

21:18 Public- Want an external investigation and accountability to the rules. Want an unbiased decision.

22:43 Public- Moved to Eureka. People told her school was terrible. People she talked to had negative experiences. But my experience has been good. Many of the kids have challenging home lives. This is adult bullying. It was a mistake. We have real problems. This has been addressed, and it’s time to move on. Kids watch porn on their own. Let’s get back to education.

26:00 Public- Policy should be followed. People should share their opinion, but remember, our kids are watching our behavior. (Hard to hear.) This teacher listens. Everyone makes mistakes. We need to teach our kids that mistakes happen and be kind.

29:45 Public- We have a lot of investment in the community and school. My kids graduated from here. School and teachers worked with us and our kids. Before we get angry and react, talk to the people involved. Forgive.

32:20 Public- I have faith in the school system and community. Have compassion. This teacher did well with our kids.

33:07 Public- I was asked to come here tonight. Permission slips do not work. People forge signatures. These kinds of movies have no place in schools. That being said, this teacher is like many other teachers. My kid got in trouble and faced the consequences. They have to know they can recover from mistakes.

36:22 Public- teacher spoke about his philosophy of education. We have to teach everyone who comes in the door. I teach a wide range of kids with all kinds of backgrounds and beliefs. I care about my kids. I mess up, but I also try to help them challenge their comfort zones. Let’s help teachers and the community get better.

39:28 Public- Many of your kids are cutters. They are sexually active and exposed to torture and bullying to the point of suicide. Worry about what they’re going through. Some of you don’t want to face it. Stop the bickering. Set the example. Acceptance, forgiveness, love. Set the tone for the community. I’m here to hold the community accountable.

43:09 Public- People are only sorry when they get caught. It’s porn. There are laws against it. There are a lot of problems, and teachers do care for kids. But putting such things in their head hurts them. It was wrong.

46:26 Public- I appreciate public education. The school has handled it. I’m not sure what an external group would find that the school investigation did not. This is an opportunity to talk to our kids, so they learn from the situation. It’s not a black-and-white situation.

49:18 Public- Thanks for the apologies. This teacher is incredible, as is the Principal and superintendent. Thank you for the time. It’s a relentless job. Both our boys have done exceptionally well.

50:26 Public- Grassroots coalition calls for kindness. Signed petition to support. Stand up for the support of schools, teachers, administrators, health board, librarian, and others bullied by extremists in our community. We say enough. We are not a lynch mob. We are tolerant.

54:50 Public- I had a popular teacher. I rejected him. Yet, he became one of the most positive influences in my life journey. Be careful.

57:42 Public- I’ve been here for 4 years, a teacher. I support public education. This has been a heck of a year. Poor judgment doesn’t warrant dismissal. We don’t need division in this community. We need to set an example. Move forward with mutual respect.

59:43 Public- The thing we’re missing is the kids. The kids were exposed to porn. Forgiveness and tolerance aren’t the same things. I can forgive, but this can’t happen again. This is a place for safe education.

1:01:11 Public- There is a policy in place for parental permission. This wasn’t porn. It was rated R. It portrayed an important historical figure. LGBTQ is protected. Diverse community. We cannot censor them. Teachers are under threat all the time. It will make it hard to recruit good teachers because we’re getting a reputation. This teacher is an asset.

1:04:31 Public- Teacher, need to move forward and focus energy on fixing school. We make mistakes. Focus on programs, repairs, and supporting our kids.

1:06:31 Public- Someday, my kid will go to this school. Please be kind and respectful.

1:07:46 Public- Moved here. We’re happy with the schools. Much better than LA. Parents need to get involved.

1:09:47 Public- Lots of opinions. I took a Spanish class here. It was amazing. The R-rated film shouldn’t be shown, but it won’t happen again. Need to look at the definition of pornography. The movie presented a cultural icon. I fast-forward scenes. It’s history. It opens up gates for conversations. School has addressed it according to policy.

1:13:40 Online comments? No one spoke up.

1:14:40 Sign-in sheet for latecomers who want to speak

1:16:10 Public- Opposing groups take the most radical view and apply it to the entire group. I appreciate those who are defending teachers. But poison is poison, and you don’t drink poison to understand it better. Don’t show graphic sex in school. I’m willing to forgive and move on. I trust the administration. But don’t minimize what occurred. This isn’t broadening their minds. In your home, so be it. Don’t expose the entire class.

1:19:33 Public- Appreciate the apology. The consensus is it shouldn’t have happened. It was good to see the process of dealing with this. I’d like to know it won’t happen again. It should be clear to all teachers that this was the warning. If it happens again, that’s when they leave.

1:23:31 Public- I love this community. They step in to help. As a parent, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous about sending my kids to school. We have good people, but I’m not ok with my kids watching that. I watched the movies to see what they had on them. It’s not about sexuality or gender identity. It’s showing the actual act of sex to my kids. I can be kind and say, don’t show that stuff to my boy.

1:26:39 Public- mental health counselor- worked with people with suicidal thoughts, cutting, and self-harm. We are sorting ourselves. Mental issues are increasing because we’re growing disconnected. Embrace diversity and support one another. A petition that clearly creates us vs. them isn’t the way to overcome division.

1:29:40 General Board Comments

1:30:06 5-minute break first

1:39:10 Board- We messed up by not updating the policy. We’ll correct that mistake. Special meeting next week to address these issues.

1:40:14 Board Introductions

1:41:17 Board comments concluded

1:41:41 Agenda Review- no changes- motion approved

1:43:01 Recommended hires- no comments. Approved

1:44:44 Jr. High changes in sports discussed- motion regarding coaches- approved

1:46:22 Summer Rec Program discussed. Recommended hires. They are paid above their other salary. Motion approved

1:48:17 Approve sign language specialist. Mandated having someone, this person recommended. Motion passed

1:49:37 Resignations- bus driver, nurse, and another. Motion to accept, passed

1:51:48 New Business- Do we have enough people for speech & drama. Recommend we run the same project like last year. Motion passed

1:53:11 recommend we accept audiologist and OT. They have to be certified. Nice to have a machine and equipment. Working on physical therapy. We need a new district provider. Motion to approve- passed

1:55:30 Transportation mtg coming up July. Added 10 miles to the route. Recommend we approve bus route. Motion- passed

1:57:13 recommend tabling safety plan- approved

1:57:18 disposal of surplus property. Recommend that they take old chrome books that are fixable and sell or give them to kids who don’t have a computer. Things that have resale value will be listed. We can trade-in and recycle. Recommend we approve the list. We’ll advertise it for 2 weeks. Motion- approved

2:00:02 Transfer of money from the general fund. We used to take extra money and spend it. Then we could roll it over into another fund. We’re still paying bills, so we don’t have the numbers. Recommend extra money be put into other funds for building reserve, maintenance, transportation, and safety. Motion-passed

2:03:12 Approve high school roof bids- got 2 bids. $150k & $68k. We budgeted $100k. We might be able to get them to do the entire roof. We’re on borrowed time with the other schools, but HS is the only one that is currently leaking. We’re trying to balance emergency repairs for school roofs, boiler, collapsing cinder block.

Public comment, hard to hear.

2:08:15 We opened it to bids, and they contacted us. We checked references. The contractor has a good reputation. Motion to approve bid and request permission to talk to the company about more square footage under the budget limit- Approved

2:09:48 Adding policy review committee, nutrition, and covid health. Volunteers for committees listed. 3 person max. appointments made

2:13:33 We canceled the July board meeting. The special meeting will be soon.

2:14:36 Safety and returning to school can’t be voted on yet. Waiting for meeting and covid money. Intent to open the school to pre-covid conditions with new cleaning protocols and additional staff. Some of the fixed costs are going on. The budget should be spent on the required increases. We met all the requirements. 2021-2024 safe return has to be on the school agenda. We can readdress it later. We’ll vote after we get the budget. Vote on intent to spend covid money. Gave a list of places where it will go. About $1mill over the next 3 years. We don’t want to become dependent on covid money. Motion- approved

2:20:18 Administration report- Insurance raised by 21%. Explained the rates. Self-funded insurance pool. When we tried going with other companies, they beat the first year's price then raised their prices. Head Start contract hasn’t changed. We’ll sign the contract unless opposed. Would like to prepay as we have done in the past. Compared 2 companies and explained our lousy track record with one of them. On behalf of the staff, we had a comparatively good year. We survived an unprecedented year. Less than 5% are still remote learning.

2:27:07- scheduling the special meeting. Monday 14th at 4PM

“Only you can control your future.” - Dr. Seuss