Book controversy invades Hamilton Southeastern School Board meeting

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FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — At Wednesday’s gathering of the Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) Board of School Trustees, a treatment astir the upcoming assignment to the Hamilton East Public Library Board of Trustees sparked capable contention that the committee took a recess and suspended each further nationalist comments for the remainder of the night.

The HSE schoolhouse committee had chosen to instrumentality nationalist comments with each docket point arsenic it came up, alternatively than person a abstracted clip exclusively for comments from those successful attendance.

The arguable contented was the upcoming assignment by HSE Board President Janet Pritchett connected Aug. 11 to the Library Board.

During the meeting, Pritchett said this idiosyncratic volition beryllium not beryllium an assignment voted connected by the full board, but volition beryllium “someone appointed by the committee president.”

Only 4 citizens were fixed the accidental to talk Wednesday evening.

Tiffany Eggers spoke concisely to the board, asking the that appointee beryllium idiosyncratic focused connected uncovering books that “meet the needs and values of the community.”

Shannon Fields, successful her clip astatine the microphone, wanted to code circumstantial books recovered connected room shelves and was told by Pritchett, “That’s not astir the appointee, we are talking the circumstantial idiosyncratic that we are appointing. If you person immoderate accusation connected that, we would gladly perceive further, different conscionable delight instrumentality to the topic.” Fields past stepped distant from the microphone and rejoined the audience.

Lilli Hazard spoke next, asking that the committee find idiosyncratic who would beforehand transparency, who would beryllium open, and who would absorption connected filling the room with age-appropriate worldly that aligns with values taught astatine home. Hazard’s comments were met with applause.

When Barbara Shaub spoke, the gathering took an absorbing turn.

“I echo that I, too, americium acrophobic astir who is the appointee to the room due to the fact that I bash judge that we person to beryllium cautious arsenic acold arsenic making books due successful the room for children,” Shaub said. She past went connected to talk astir a publication she recovered successful the Fishers Library that day.

Her ailment was astir a publication titled When Aidan Became a Brother, an award-winning children’s representation publication astir a transgender boy.

When Pritchett asked Shaub to speech astir the appointee, alternatively than astir circumstantial books successful the nationalist library, Shaub responded with, “You volition not beryllium a dictator. I americium a grandma of 11 children, 5 successful this schoolhouse district.”

Within seconds, her microphone was muted. Moments aboriginal the committee called a recess and walked out. A splash surface connected the video provender read, “The gathering has ended owed to unforeseen circumstances.”

Later, the gathering reconvened and Pritchett said, “We are suspending nationalist remark for the remainder of the meeting.”

Pritchett past announced, “Those funny successful being appointed to the room committee should nonstop a missive of intent oregon involvement connected wherefore you would beryllium a bully assignment with your name, code and telephone number. You email that to Denise from Aug. 1 done the 7th. After that, successful the Aug. 11 committee meeting, we volition denote the appointment.”

She did not springiness Denise’s past sanction oregon email address, but The Reporter believes this whitethorn person been successful notation to Denise Justice, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent. Her email code is djustice@hse.k12.in.us.

Due to suspending each nationalist comments for the remainder of the night, the pursuing were docket items nary national had the accidental to talk about:

· Teacher Appreciation Grant.

· Policies for a Second Reading including the following: Mission Statement, Board Meetings, Broadcasting of Board Meetings (and each different meetings wherever enactment items are anticipated).

· Resolution Regarding Plans for 2021-2022 Return to In-Person Instruction.

· Superintendent’s Report. The video of the July 28 HSE committee gathering tin beryllium seen online.

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