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
  • 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

  • PTK honorees Students inducted to Phi Theta Kappa CLINTON — The Alpha Theta Beta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa recently held an induction ceremony for 30 students. Clinton Community College President Karen Vickers, EICC Chancellor Don Doucette and PTK advisors Gina Bielski, Jane Marlowe and Shirley Tur

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3-24-14 AP Fulton Fulton eyes AP chemistry course FULTON, Ill. -- Next year, students at Fulton High School could have an opportunity to do something no Fulton Steamer has done before them -- take an advanced placement chemistry course. For the first time in River Bend history, the district is hopin

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Northeast pushes back technology staffing plan GOOSE LAKE -- The Northeast School District will delay moving forward with a proposal to create a technology position. During the Northeast Board of Education meeting Wednesday night, Superintendent Jim Cox suggested the district wait on transferring

    March 21, 2014

  • Tax rate to remain same GOOSE LAKE -- The Northeast School District has decide not to raise its published tax rate for the upcoming budget year. Business Manager Kristy Weiss presented the 2015 fiscal year budget to the Northeast Board of Education on Wednesday night. The p

    March 21, 2014

  • Schools plan new wrestling room at high school CAMANCHE-- Middle school and junior high school students involved in the Camanche wrestling program currently practice on the Camanche Middle School's stage, sharing space with a variety of other clubs and events. Now, a renovation project is being c

    March 21, 2014

  • Tax levy rate to decline

    Taxpayers in the Camanche School District will see a decrease in their tax rates for the 2014-2015 budget year. The school district is proposing a 62-cent decrease in its tax levy rate. District Business Director and Board of Education Sec

    March 20, 2014

  • Changes in technology use considered

    The Camanche School District is looking at changing how students use technology. As of April 8, Microsoft will stop supporting XP systems, no longer providing automatic fixes, updates and online technical assistance. Camanche Information T

    March 20, 2014

Facebook