LOVELAND — A second grade student at Mary Blair Elementary here in Thompson School District, has been suspended for using his imagination and playing a game where he will “rescue the world” the with an imaginary grenade which is prohibited per their list of “absolutes.”
While the school has a zero tolerance for violations of their absolutes, it appears that the school and the District do not hold themselves to the same zero tolerance standards when it comes to following their discipline code. The District’s code on page 29 clearly states that an informal hearing and disciplinary notice must precede the actual suspension and it appears that neither happened.
Nancy Rumfelt, Directory of Liberty Watch points out; “The Community is already frustrated with the lack of transparency and accountability in the District and this situation highlights the resistance of the Administration to be open and honest with the community.”
The Communications Officer for the District Michael Hausmann, would not disclose if District policy and procedure for suspension had been followed by Principal Lara-Black at Mary Blair, which again highlights the resistance to transparency even on basic questions relating to policy and procedures. Questions relating to policy and procedure do not involve disclosing private information and there is no legitimate reason to withhold this type of information from the public.
K-12 Public Education is supposed to teach our kids reading, writing, mathematics and critical thinking but instead continues to expand beyond their primary mission with zero tolerance policies that have nothing to do with educating our children. The Thompson School District as part of the mission and vision states a commitment to inspiring students to be creative and innovative however, the list of absolutes does the opposite by punishing imagination and creativity.
Rumfelt adds; “The District should work with the Parent Mandy Watkins, so that the entire story and all of the facts can be presented to the community. The more the District hides under the “cloak” of privacy i.e. secrecy, the more it looks like the District is covering their tracks.”
There is a Board of Education meeting tonight which is open to the public (no public comment) and on the agenda is a presentation regarding discipline in the District and one would hope that in light of this incident, the Board will discuss what the discipline policy is supposed to be.
The meeting begins at 5:30pm and is at 800 S Taft Road, Loveland CO and we are encouraging citizens to attend as a room packed with concerned citizens will send a message to the Board and the Administration that the community is watching and that honesty is the best policy.
About Liberty Watch Colorado
Liberty Watch is a grassroots organization which holds our state and local elected officials accountable by providing the tools and education for citizens to do so. Currently we are gathering signatures asking the Thompson School District to adopt policies that will provide transparency and accountability and the petition can be found on our home page at: www.libertywatch.info