What is the role of the School Board and what is the role of the Superintendent regarding making policy and regulation?
Rather than creating the policies themselves, the School Board on Tuesday voted 7-3 to allow the superintendent to develop regulations to comply with Code of VA 22.1-23.3 and the VDOE's Model Policies for Transgender Students.
Let’s look at law:
Code 22.1-78: A school board may adopt bylaws and regulations NOT inconsistent with state statutes and regulations….
Code 22.1-253.13.7: Each school board (not superintendent) shall ensure that policies are developed giving consideration to the views of teachers, parents and other concerned citizens
Let’s look at the School Board's own by-laws:
By-law 1-31- It is the responsibility of the School Board (not superintendent) to adopt policies for governing schools……. When changes in policy are made, these shall be prepared, notification provided to the public and staff and placed on the division website. It is the obligation of the superintendent and staff to familiarize themselves with and follow School Board policies and regulations. (if superintendent is supposed to familiarize and follow regulations, that would seem to indicate that he isn’t the one who is supposed to create them)
Code 22.1-70 Powers and Duties of the Superintendent…
A division superintendent shall perform such duties as prescribed by law, school board and state board
Policy 2-8 states that the superintendent’s responsibilities shall be enumerated in the Superintendent’s contract. So, let’s look at the contract language related to regulations:
Pg 2 item 7: shall from time to time SUGGEST regulations, policies, rules and procedures. Item 7: shall make RECOMMENDATIONS for needed policy or regulation changes.
Policy Review Committee "SPECIAL" Meeting TODAY to "redo" their previous meetings. The disaster that is the VB School Board continues......
Watch the meeting live for yourself at 4pm today at this link.
I watched the previous "special" meeting that the PRC held last week and noticed that the chair of the committee was not following the by-laws. She would call for a vote without a motion or even stating what they were voting on. She didn't even call for a vote on every item. I pointed this out to the Chair of the Board and to our attorney, perhaps that is why they have called another "special" meeting.
Apparently this is how they have been operating in other meetings also. The attached agenda shows 120 pages worth of by-laws and policies they want to retake votes on before tomorrow's School Board meeting.
Some of the topics include: the Transgender Policy, limiting access to the public, requiring permits to gather in the parking lot, banning flags aka "cloth symbols" from being brought onto the grounds and into the chambers of our meetings, reduce the amount of time that a speaker can speak,....and more.
I guess it is so important for some Board members to be sure they get these policy and by-law changes on tomorrow's meeting agenda in order to be able silence the public as soon as they can.
My vote would be to stop trying to silence the public. Stop trying to silence other Board members and get on with the business of the students and our fiscal responsibilities as Board members. However, only the Chair and Vice-Chair of the School Board have authority over the agenda so I will just keep swimming upstream to raise awareness about the tyrannical actions that this board continues to bring forward.
On Sept 14th, the VB School Board will vote on a policy that could be a violation of state law and the constitution. The actual policy up for a vote can be found here. Please review the flyer created by some concerned parents that details how you can have your voice heard. Please email the board, sign up to speak and attend the rally.
First, there are some items in the VDOE model policy that I support, such as anti-bullying/anti-harassment. However, we have had those policies in place in Va Beach for a while.
Here are some details of concerns with the proposed policy:
Violation of Religious Liberty:
The School Board elected member's oath of office is to uphold the US and Va constitutions
Article 1 Sec 16 VA Constitution Bill of Rights:
No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever…. Nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
1st Amendment to the US Constitution established the The Free Exercise Clause which gives us the right to worship or not as we choose. The government can't penalize anyone because of their religious beliefs.
The proposed policy/regulation states:
Violation of Parental Rights
Virginia § 1-240.1: Rights of parents. A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent's child.
B. Student name and gender pronouns
1. In accordance with this subsection, students will be allowed to use a name and
gender pronoun that reflects their gender identity without substantiating evidence. (no parental requirement of approval or notification)
2. At the written request of the student or parent/legal guardian of a minor student,
use the name and pronoun that corresponds to the student’s or parent/legal
guardian’s request. The school administration where the student attends school
may request that the request be made in writing and signed by the student or
parent/legal guardian of a minor student.
5. In the situation when parents/legal guardians of minor students (under 18 years of
age) do not agree with the minor student’s request to adopt a new name and/or
pronoun, the student and parent/legal guardian will work with school
administrators to determine how to address the student’s needs. The safety and
welfare as well as the student’s access to educational services and opportunities
should serve as the primary focus. (if a parent doesn’t agree, how will the school force them to “work with the school”?)
1. Access to all facilities (bathrooms/locker rooms) that correspond to a student's gender identity shall be available to all students.
2. Overnight trips: Students may choose the rooming, bathing, changing facilities that align with the student's gender identity. Students should not be placed into single occupancy accommodations not required for other students. (males and females could be rooming with one another on overnight field trips.)