I write this letter not because I want to be, but because I must. The great Martin Luther King Jr. said: “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Now is not the time to be silent friends. I am shocked and appalled at the reaction to the Power 2 Parent gathering that took place earlier this week. A gathering in which parents brought to light a situation that had occurred at Weiser High School. A gathering I would have attended if I didn’t have a meeting I could not miss. The poem ‘Howl’ was presented to a creative writing class by a teacher at WHS. This poem has no business being presented in any fashion to high school students. Lines 1 – 42 were read aloud in an aggressive manner to the students, unedited. They were then tasked with reading the rest of the poem on their own. All of this in unacceptable and inexcusable.
There seems to be another misconception being spread and that is that the Power 2 Parent group presented this information only because there is a school board election. This is not the case. Parents were mailed letters on Monday October 18th notifying them of the incident in the creative writing class that had occurred between September 22nd and the 24th. Parents then met with school administration on Wednesday October 20th, the day many parents received the letter, to discuss the situation and work towards a workable solution. I know this because I was at that meeting. We were then notified the next day that the teacher would continue in the classroom on the next school day, which was Monday October 25th. This of course was the day of the Power 2 Parent rally.
Now, this event can most certainly have an effect on the upcoming school board election, one would be naïve to believe different. But the election was not the reason the group spoke out. The group spoke out because we believed a crime had been committed (Idaho code 18-1515) an Idaho State Department of Education policy was broken (Code of Ethics for Idaho Professional Educators Principle II. f.) which is reiterated in the Weiser School District Policy Manual (401.3 Principle II. f.). The Weiser School District Policy also says this in Policy No. 403.2: “No certified employee shall be released from his/her contract for the ensuing school year after the first day of July without consent from the Board of Trustees…” See, that’s why this issue has to do with the School Board and the upcoming election. It turns out that they may be the only ones that can make this situation right.
Mr. Coats as one of your previous students I am appalled with your previous LTE, my assumption is that you don’t know the whole story. Now you know more. I would love to talk to you more about it, you have my number. I do want to thank you for the education you helped provide to me, it really helped when doing all this research.