School Board announces students of the month, receives comments from parents on bullying and harassment concerns
The Breckenridge ISD school board met Monday night and announced students of the month. They also received comments from the public regarding potential harassment and bullying in classrooms across the district. This included hearing an appeal case from a parent who had previously appeared in front of the board.
Some normal business on the night included a tax collection report and a report on the bilingual program within the district. The board also passed a contract for repairs to wall joints and building envelopes due to water leakage.
Student of the Month
The students of the month were announced with administration members at the beginning of the meeting. This month’s students are:
Kennadie Mathis (East Elementary)
Caylee Duran (North Elementary)
Hevelynn Ramirez (South Elementary)
Keaton Ragle (Junior High)
Kelton Wylie (Breckenridge High School’s student of the semester)
Comments and hearing
Comments from the public included two parents speaking about bullying and harassment issues within the schools. Comments came from parents Catherine Boles and Danielle Spooner.
Boles said she wasn’t sure how to label the issue but said there is problems with a child in one of the classes among the district. Boles asked for details as to what was being done and echoed how long it has been going on.
“This is going on the thirteenth week [of the situation] and apparently the school board has not been notified until the last two weeks maybe,” she said. “And I don’t understand how that happens. How does that happen?”
Spooner was the other speaker on the night and brought up similar issues within the high school. She echoed there were worrying signs of future problems to come within the district if things are not done.
“Thank you very much, you have done very good this year,” she said. “But …. It’s not safe for children to walk from areas of the school to the buses. A parent broke up a fight … I’m seeing things and I’m hearing people say ‘oh no, that’s not going on,’ and it is.”
The board members responded saying they are doing everything they can to stifle any type of inappropriate behavior that may be occurring in the district.
The theme of these comments continued with parent Heather Dabney’s appeal to the board regarding a student within the district she feels is disrupting and threatening the learning environment for other kids. Dabney was at last months meeting as well and brought up concerns of bullying within the district.
After nearly an hour-and-a-half in closed session with Dabney, the board opened back up to the public at 9:09 a.m., according to the meeting’s minutes, and announced they will uphold their previous decisions with the level one and two complaints.
“The Board as come to the conclusion that the administration at North Elementary is taking this issue very seriously,” the motion states. “The board has reviewed the measures being taken and feels they are handling the issue properly.”
All board members voted in favor of this response.
Dabney has said she is not happy with the outcome and plans to take the issue to the state-level.
Since that meeting, Dabney has filed a level one complaint and then appealed it to level two. The district had rejected her requests in both appeals, which involved assigning a tracking aide to a student with disabilities, according to background material of the agenda.
Level three, the last level of appeal, is put on the board as an agenda item and dealt with in closed session. Afterwards, the board comes out and announces their decision on the appeal.
BISD Superintendent Tim Seymore said in a previous interview he has not had a level three appeal since coming to Breckenridge.
Other Business and reports
Other business on the night had to do with wall joint and building envelope repairs due to water leakage within the high school and junior high. This is in response to roofing work the district had done over the summer. Seymore said the leakage has gotten better, but there is still work that can be done to combat it.
The work will be contracted in a variety of areas, such as the high school auditorium and cafeteria, and locations in the junior high, including the bandhall, the V.O.E building and the gym.
The board also heard a report on the bilingual program within the district, led by BISD’s Chief Learning Officer Molly Johnson. She said students who identify as English as a second language (ESL) has declined in the last few years, making it so the program is no longer required in the district by the state.
Though, there are still requirements to serve the kids that are in the district. Johnson said there were 121 ESL students in the district. She then gave details about where they had ESL students and the district’s next steps in trying to obtain ESL-qualified teachers.
The BISD School Board meets on the second Monday’s of each month. Their next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 10 at the school administration building.
Correction: This story initially had the spelling of Catherine Boles name spelled incorrectly. The name has since been verified and updated throughout the story.