Tuesday, 26 October 2021
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USD 415 board addresses concern over Diversity Council

(KNZA)--The Hiawatha School Board addressed public concern about the district's Diversity Council when they meet Monday evening.

The discussion came after the board heard a presentation by patron Jerry Aller, who has accused the district of using the Council to promote Critical Race Theory, even through the district has publicly announced it is not teaching CRT. At Monday's meeting, he again called on the board to publicly ban any teachings of CRT and for any educators teaching it to face discipline.

Board member Ian Schuetz said he felt the topic had turned into a “ three-headed monster.” He said he felt the district should make a statement that it does not give preferential treatment of one student over another due to skin color.

Board member John Wright said he felt the main problem was bullying, adding that the presence of the Diversity Council was causing too many issues and the district needed to address other concerns.

Following discussion, Wright made a motion to disband the Council and put efforts into dealing with the bullying situation. The motion was seconded by board member Andrea Groth.  However, other board members asked to be provided more information and have the Diversity Council give a presentation.

Board member Keith Erdley, who is a member of the Diversity Council, said the group has not focused on Critical Race Theory at all, but has been looking at learning what makes us all different.

Superintendent Lonnie Moser he would visit with the council to see if representatives could provide more information to the board.

Wright agreed to amend his motion to postpone the matter until next month.

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