February 7, 2014
Is Madison-Plains exempt?
I am writing this after reading the article in the Feb. 5, 2014 Madison Press regarding the student fight, involving Madison-Plains boys basketball players at Whitehall.
The school district superintendent states he will offer limited cooperation with law enforcement investigating the incident, he will cooperate with Madison County law enforcement officials but not with the Whitehall Police. The superintendent was quoted saying he won’t have any dealings with Whitehall Police. The article states the Madison County Sheriff said he was not conducting an investigation and Whitehall Police Department had jurisdiction.
This makes me wonder if a school district superintendent has some type of exemption from cooperating with a law enforcement investigation and what kind of example this may be for students, faculty, taxpayers, and the general public.
According to the article, the superintendent went on to say he does not feel the public should know how the district is handling the situation, there is a disciplinary code of conduct that deals with the students, and decisions would not be made on opinion of law but by what degree the school board wants things known.
Again, I have to ponder if an exemption from following the law exists for school board members as well. Surely the student code of conduct is available to the public and an incident involving students in our school reflects on the district as a whole, including parents, taxpayers, and residents.
The superintendent goes on to say the matter might be discussed at a special meeting of the board of education to be held that evening, the purpose was listed as being calamity days. It was stated the board could go into executive session, which is permitted if the reason is employee discipline, yet the superintendent stated there was no expectation of any discipline.
One can guess as to whether or not the board was correct in voting to place a levy on the next ballot at their Jan. 14 meeting, as it was publicized as an organizational meeting.
The last issue is notice of the school board meetings being provided in a timely manner. I could not locate notice for the Jan. 14 and Feb. 5 meetings, except for those on the same dates as the meetings. This method provides notice for a meeting that has already taken place or is taking place while you are reading about it, depending on when the paper is delivered. Either way it is too late to attend a meeting, if you were so inclined.
B. J. Little