March 23, 2016

CSPS board tackles ‘the elephant’

By Annette Tait
On the surface, the large – for a district the size of Center-Stanton Public Schools – number of open enrollment requests were not cause for concern. Most of the five requests were from parents who were moving into CSPS and wanted to keep their students in their current school, or had older children already in school in another district.
However, with numbers being an ongoing cause for concern among small school districts throughout the state, the requests sparked a lively discussion among the board members.
“Open enrollments should have to give a reason,” Board Member Rick Schmidt said. “If there’s something that needs to be fixed, we should fix it. If it goes to the state, that’s fine.”
The “something” Schmidt was referring to was bullying, and the concern that it not become the elephant in the room everyone sees but no one is willing to talk about.
The board took the topic head-on, acknowledging that there are some issues related to interaction among students in the middle grades.
“We realize there’s a lot of emotions [at that age] – you have to take that seriously,” CSPS Superintendent Curt Pierce said. “You have to work with both sides to get that to stop. And you have to have cooperation from both sides.”
The district takes its bullying policies and student behavior expectations seriously. A process is in place to report and investigate allegations of bullying. If warranted, consequences will be enforced.


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