Letter to the editor: Policy committee needs to meet sooner

Policy committee needs to meet sooner

Which is more important to parents - notification when their child has been the victim of harassment, or the inconvenience of the administrators? This isn't a ridiculous hypothetical. This was literally the dichotomy set up by Leon Johnson at the most recent SVSU Policy Committee Meeting. Currently, the next meeting of the committee is scheduled for the second Monday of September. Considering both the timeliness of this policy discussion, as well as its appropriate urgency, a committee member requested that an August committee meeting be scheduled in order to move forward revision of the policy. Leon Johnson himself noted that it would take at least two months to adopt the policy after the policy committee passed it. If other boards had any changes to make, as Mr. Johnson noted, it would push that adoption date even further back. One would think, then, that he would advocate for consideration of this policy as soon as possible. If you thought that, you were wrong. Mr. Johnson instead noted that some administrators would be on vacation or just returning from vacation and coming back to school at that time period, and therefore this should wait until September. The committee member requested that a sense of the board be taken to determine if there would be enough for a quorum at an August meeting. Mr. Johnson would not grant that request, and shut down any further discussion of an additional meeting.

While I understand the next meeting was already scheduled for September, I would think the urgency of the matter would cause Mr. Johnson to at least allow a moment to determine if there would be enough committee members to hold an August meeting. While he may feel that vacation is more important than consideration of a policy on harassment, it seems that other committee members disagree, and I can say at least one parent disagrees as well.

I urge Mr. Johnson to reconsider scheduling this meeting, because I'd hate for him to question what he could have done differently should a student be harassed and fall through the cracks of the policy because he did not want to inconvenience an administrator's potential vacation.

— Jared Della Rocca Shaftsbury


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