The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local Schools

June 15, 2012

Book still banned at Erie

ERIE, Ill. — The Erie School Board on Thursday upheld its decision to ban a book and lesson plan on diversity and tolerance of same-sex parents.

In May, the School Board banned the “The Family Book,” by Todd Parr and accompanying materials.

The materials, which are part of the “Ready, Set, Respect!” lesson endorsed by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, were implemented at the elementary school this spring as part of the diversity and tolerance unit in the school.

One of the controversial lines in “The Family Book” states “some families have two moms or two dads.” After receiving complaints from several parents, the materials selection committee reviewed the book and lessons before the board voted 5-2 to ban them at its May meeting.

Board member Charles Brown defended the ban and the board’s choice to use other materials for the tolerance and diversity curriculum.

“We have nothing but the students’ best interest in our mind. But we live in a democracy and a vote is a vote. This board voted,” Brown said.

Brown, along with some fellow board members, suggested the community use the school board election in April if they were unsatisfied with the current board.

The ban gained national attention this month after an online petition called for the school board to reverse its decision.

The petition was started by 2010 Erie High School graduate Sean Leeds. Leeds joined a mixed group of more than a 100 book supporters and ban supporters who packed the Erie Middle School cafeteria Thursday.

“It’s crucial to instill tolerance and diversity in our community’s children during a young age...The only agenda here is to promote tolerance in our children,” Leeds said during the meeting. “Exposing children to the reality that is this incredibly diverse world that we live in is not a narrow view, excluding groups from children by trying to protect them from reality is.”

Parent Mindy Jepson on Thursday said she supports the ban because she believes it’s what’s best for her three children at Erie Elementary.

“I don’t feel it’s the school’s job to teach family diversity, gender expressions or any other lifestyles... Parents know their children best and how best to approach these situations. I think 'Ready, Set, Respect!' crosses the line when it starts redefining family, males and females,” Jepson said.

After hearing from several other speakers on both sides of the issue, the School Board had a brief discussion of its previous decision.

Board member Thomas Pons questioned holding referendum on the issue.

“Do we want to be the town that puts that on there and the stigma that’s going to go with it?” Pons asked.

Rather, Pons joined Brown in suggesting the voters hit the polls in April.

Board member Mike Heun agreed and illustrated it is the prerogative of board that will be elected next year and Erie residents to decide whether they want to revisit the issue.

“The final decision, the final word, will be in the hands of the community. This is not the teacher’s school. This is not the administrator’s school. This is the community’s school,” board member Mike Heun said.

After board members stated they would not change their votes, the meeting was adjourned.

“This matter is probably over with until April 2013,” Brown said.

1
Text Only
Local Schools
  • JUST IN: Three interested in Guillory's seat

    Three former board members have inquired about ex-Clinton Community School board member Devin Guillory's seat, according to district business manager Cindy McAleer. Guillory resigned in June after accepting a job in Saudi Arabia and the district has been fielding interest the last two weeks.

    July 2, 2014

  • Survey may impact goals CLINTON — When the Clinton Community School Board meets to reassess its annual goals today, an important process will be at hand, Superintendent Deb Olson said.“I believe it’s important because it kind of sets the vision for the district moving forwa

    June 17, 2014

  • UPDATED: School board names new Clinton High principal

    June 9, 2014

  • UPDATED: District rehires recently terminated teacher

    Melissa Luckritz, who was terminated for budget reasons last month, will teach third grade at Whittier Elementary.

    June 9, 2014

  • Playground dominant Playground hours cut

    CLINTON -- Deb Olson doesn't want anyone to get hurt on Clinton School District property. As the Clinton School District's superintendent, Olson doesan't want criminal activity on the district's property, either. Olson said that because of a few inc

    June 5, 2014 3 Photos

  • CHS principal resigns

    Throughout her 14-year tenure with Clinton Community Schools, "what's best for kids" was Karinne Tharaldson Jones' guiding philosophy.

    On Friday, she told staff one child has become a priority — Liam Jones.

    May 9, 2014

  • BREAKING: CHS Principal informs staff of resignation

    Principal Karinne Tharaldson Jones informed Clinton High, school district she has accepted a position with Bettendorf AEA.

    May 9, 2014

  • 3-28-14 1B-Signees 1 Four for signing day FULTON, Ill. -- Four seniors from Fulton High School will go on to play college athletics next fall, with all four of them staying within a 3-hour traveling distance. Only Matt Dail, who is going to Trinity Christian College in Illinois to play baske

    March 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Schools eye same sports-sharing policy CLINTON -- Since 1982 the state of Iowa has allowed athletic sharing agreements between neighboring school districts and it is anticipated that the Clinton School District will continue to take advantage of that allowance into the 2014-2015 school ye

    March 25, 2014

  • 3-25-14 Clinton Middle School photo Projects shuffled as ground thaws CLINTON -- Progress is moving along at the Clinton Middle School, although contractors feel they may be teetering on the edge of their projected schedule. Unfavorable weather and a brutal winter have delayed some aspects of the project, which was ant

    March 25, 2014 2 Photos

Facebook