board OKs measure opposing a war on Iraq
The Yellow Springs Board of Education passed last week a resolution opposing
a war on Iraq and urging the Bush administration to explore alternate
paths to peace with the government of Iraq and to engage in
respectful dialogue with the government of North Korea.
The board unanimously approved the measure at its meeting, Feb. 13.
I believe that we have the responsibility as educational leaders
and citizens to express our opposition to policies that could have devastating
effects on our country and its citizens, perhaps especially to our young
people, our students, board president Rich Bullock said as he introduced
the resolution. If listening respectfully and carefully considering
the views of others before acting is a hallmark of a good civic education,
then we have a responsibility to speak out.
Introducing the resolution was a last-minute decision, Bullock said after
the meeting. I didnt know I was going to do it until I walked
in the meeting, he said. Bullock said he was prompted by a growing
sense of anger and frustration about the war, which was heightened
late Thursday afternoon when he heard a National Public Radio report about
American troops who were already on the ground in Iraq.
Taking the action as a board seemed timely and appropriate, other school
board members said.
I feel its important for the board to stand up for kids and
let them know that they have minds and can use them, board member
Bill Firestone said after the meeting. Theres a tendency in
these situations, if the president wants to go to war, for everyone to
fall in line. I dont think thats an attitude we should be
teaching in Yellow Springs.
Board member Mary Campbell-Zopf said that board members appreciated the
resolutions call for dialogue and want to be respectful of
different points of view. Zopf said that she supported the action
because all the things we encourage students to do, such as using
conflict resolution, being reflective and cooperative, arent being
reflected in our countrys actions about the war.
Community members are encouraged to contact board members regarding how
they feel about the resolution and to express their opinions on
this issue, said Firestone.
The school boards action comes just two weeks after local residents
discussed whether Village Council and Antioch College should take a position
on the war.
* * *
In other school board business:
The board approved 41 a resolution allowing Yellow Springs
High School to participate in the National School Fitness Foundation.
Bullock, Campbell-Zopf, Tom Haugsby and Angela Wright voted for the resolution;
Bill Firestone opposed it.
The resolution allows the Yellow Springs school district to enter into
a contract with NSFF, in which YSHS would use specialized fitness equipment
and make monthly payments toward purchasing the equipment, valued at $200,000,
over a three-year period. However, the school will be reimbursed the same
amount each month by NSFF, according to Jerome Gray, an NSFF representative
who attended the meeting.
At the end of the three-year agreement, the high school will have been
reimbursed the full amount and will own the equipment, which will be located
in the soon-to-be completed fitness center at YSHS. In exchange, the high
school will provide the NSFF with data regarding students who are working
in the fitness program.
A nonprofit program based in Utah, NSFF has 190 contracts with schools
across the country, and 63 in Ohio, Gray said. The program seeks to counter
an epidemic of obesity and chronic inactivity in American
young people through fitness training.
The NSFF program works well with the current YSHS/McKinney physical education
program, said teachers Kevin OBrien and Sarah Lowe.
Firestone raised concerns about the schools financial liability
contract, and about contract restrictions on the use of data. He also
questioned the effects on the Yellow Springs community of using the NSFF
program, since the program would require teachers to focus only on student
participation for the first year, thus postponing the use of the fitness
center by community members.
However, other board members were swayed by OBriens report
that Ohio schools using the program are well-pleased with it, and have
been regularly reimbursed according to expectations.
Were enthused and ready to go, said YSHS Principal John
Gudgel. Its a wonderful opportunity to get state-of-the-art
equipment and to benefit our student population.
William Pitstick, a member of the Bryan High School Class of 1946,
was the first World War II veteran to receive an honorary degree from
Yellow Springs High School following a recently approved board policy.
The policy awards honorary degrees to war veterans as a way to honor those
who interrupted their education to join the war effort.
Many of Pitsticks children and grandchildren crowded the meeting
room as he received the degree.
I cherish this, he told the board. I thank you from
the bottom of my heart.
The board accepted the resignation of Julie Miller as the fourth
and fifth grade team leader, effective Jan. 17. The board named Linda
Kalter as Millers replacement and gave her a stipend of $1,321.
The board awarded co-curricular contracts to Alfred Pierce as assistant
track coach ($1,050 stipend) and Marcia Nowik as Drama Club sponsor ($315
stipend), director of the one-act plays ($1,050) and director of the spring
The board recommended that Linda Sikes, Debra Mabra, Shanna Winks,
Margaret Morgan and Amy Huneck be approved as proficiency-intervention
tutors at Mills Lawn School at a stipend of $184 for a minimum of two
hours per week for four weeks.
Superintendent Tony Armocida reported that the construction projects
at YSHS, the McKinney School and Mills Lawn School are progressing well.
The high school work is where it should be according to the
schedule, although the cold and snowy weather has slowed the project at
Mills Lawn. However, he said, when we get a break in the weather
things will go quickly.
The board approved advertising for bids to replace the McKinney
School roof. The current roof, which is the 1988 modules original
roof, was expected to last 10 years and has lasted 15, but is now leaking,
boards antiwar measure
The following is the resolution approved by the Yellow Springs school
board opposing a war on Iraq:
Since a primary goal of education is to promote reflection, intelligent
action, and cooperation among individuals and groups;
And since another primary goal of education is to teach young people to
become good citizens, committed to working together as citizens not only
of their communities and as citizens of their nation, but as citizens
of the world;
We, the Board of Education of the Yellow Springs, Ohio, Exempted Village
Oppose the impending invasion of Iraq by the United States;
Urge the government of the United States to explore alternate paths to
peace with the government of Iraq; and urge the government of the United
States to engage in respectful dialogue with the government of North Korea.