Board shuts door on violators in revised student code

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

A proscription that bars students who violate the high school code of conduct from speaking at graduation will extend to all senior year co-curricular awards as well, something that has already existed in practice but now exists in writing.

Sweet Home High School Athletic Director Dave Goetz presented two changes to the co-curricular code of conduct to the District 55 School Board, which approved them on July 21.

The first change requires an athlete who wants to compete in two sports in a single season to meet with both coaches and the athletic director with an invite to parents.

The meeting, Goetz said, allows everyone to get expectations down in writing. The athlete will need to make commitments to the programs. For example, a student who plays soccer may need to commit to attending the state tournament even if it interferes with his cross country schedule.

The second change puts into writing what coaches already practice, Goetz said. That way new students are aware of the restrictions and on the same page.

In the code of conduct, students sign their agreement to discipline for committing crimes and violations or violating the code.

In addition, seniors who violate the code are not eligible to receive schoolwide athletic awards, Goetz said. That is the part that is being added to the code itself. It also will include schoolwide awards for other co-curricular activities.

The proposed code of conduct used the terms “may be ineligible,” but following a board discussion, the terms were changed to “will be ineligible.”

Leaving the term “may” in the code suggests that students may be able to get out of the consequences of their actions, said Jason Redick, a board member. Professional athletes have built a reputation for long arrest records and drug violations, partially because they are allowed to play anyway depending on how well they play, he noted.

That extends to the college level too, said John Fassler, board member.

“The word ‘may’ takes the teeth out of the code of conduct here,” Redick said.

Parent Katarina Haseman told the board the same thing.

“If you are going to choose to be an athlete, then you choose to screw up, you should be held accountable for that,” she said.

The first part of the provision in the code of conduct appeared two years ago after at least one senior scheduled to speak at graduation was cited for being a minor in possession of alcohol.

The board approved the changes unanimously.

Present at the meeting were Ken Roberts, Chanz Keeney, Jeff Lynn, Diane Gerson, Chairman Mike Reynolds, Leena Neuschwander, David VanDerlip, John Fassler and Redick.

In other business, the board:

– Appointed Reynolds to continue serving as chairman. Gerson remained vice chairman, and Neuschwander remained secretary. Redick and Keeney voted for Redick as chairman.

– Hired Terry Augustadt, counselor, Hawthorne; Anna Joshu, basic life skills, high school; Stephanie Moseley, language arts, high school; Chelsea Frick, second grade, Oak Heights; Tegan Johnson, half-time PE, Oak Heights; Elizabeth Johnson, science, junior high; Valerie Reinhard, resource room, high school; Janis Crotts, one-year special contract, resource room, high school; Debra Sayre, half-time temporary job share, sixth-grade, Hawthorne; Jill Denbrook, half-time extended kindergarten, Hawthorne, and half-time Title I, Foster; and Ryan Beck, principal, Hawthorne.

– Agreed 8-1 to support an Oregon School Boards Association resolution supporting the restoration of a simple majority vote on bond and levy measures.

“We’re rewarding lazy voters,” Reynolds said of the double majority requirement that was part of property tax limitations set by voters in the late 1990s.

In order to pass a bond or tax levy, for a passing vote to be counted, at least half of registered voters must turn out for the election except in November general elections in even-numbered years.

“If you want to say no, get out there and say no,” Reynolds said.

The double majority requirement makes a non-vote a no vote, Fassler said.

“If you want bond measures, we have to make sure we go to them (voters) and get them informed,” Keeney said.

Keeney was the lone vote against the resolution.

– Accepted a roofing bid from McDonald & Wetle for roofing at a cost of $101,996.