The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 13, 2013

Your View: Take a look in the mirror

By Melissa Braun
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — This is in response to Anson Burlingame’s guest column “Joplin School Board makes wise decision” (Globe, June 11).

Mr. Burlingame, the Joplin School Board did not make the right decision.

Not sure what hearing you attended, but it was not the same one that I attended or testified at.

The Joplin school administration tried desperately to fire Randy Turner for immorality. That is a relevant term.

What is immoral to one, may not be to another.

They couldn’t fire him for that so they got him for violating board policy.

Administrators violate board policy all the time. Recently a survey was given at the middle school.

Board policy states that:

“Any parent may inspect, upon request, any instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum and all instructional materials, including teachers’ manuals, films, tapes or other supplementary material that will be used in connection with any survey, analysis or evaluation as part of any applicable program. Further, a parent may inspect, upon request, a survey created by a third party before the survey is administered or distributed by a school to a student. The term ‘instructional material’ does not include academic tests or academic assessments.”

As a parent I had a right to request to read this survey before it was given, but I could not because I was not told that it was being given.

This is just one case that I refer to.

This happens all the time. Teachers and administrators intentionally and unintentionally violate these policies all the time.

The Joplin School District also exposes students to “sexually explicit” material.

My son listened to a speaker who was brought in, again without my knowledge, who told students about very sexually explicit things from his childhood. At the high school, one of the books that is required reading is “Winter’s Bone.”

That book has sex scenes in it and students are required to read it.

No one asks parents if they are opposed to a book before it is assigned.

I think that the Joplin Board of Education needs to take a serious look in the mirror.

If they fire one for violating BOE policy, then they need to fire all.

Melissa Braun