The Molalla River School Board has been asked to consider a resolution formally rescinding a controversial proclamation declaring November “Parents’ Partnership in Education Month,” and a second resolution that would declare the same thing — but with supporting language intended to reflect “the core values present in the Molalla River School District Community.”
The resolution, originally passed by the board at its Oct. 10 meeting, became a topic of lengthy discussion last week, as many Molalla teachers and union representatives crowded in to let their voices be heard. The controversy seemed to stem less from the resolution itself, and more from the group that originated it: Parents’ Rights in Education, or PRIE.
PRIE is a nonprofit advocating for parents’ rights to guide their children’s education, and promoting a conservative approach to sex education, LGBTQ issues and students’ access to contraceptives.
But more than one commenter last week described them as an “anti-LGBTQ group,” and expressed concern that, in adopting PRIE’s resolution, the board was aligning the Molalla River School District with PRIE’s values, creating a potentially unsafe and unwelcoming environment for LGBTQ students.
The two new resolutions are being presented by Superintendent Tony Mann, who said he collaborated with leadership from the Molalla River Education Association (the Molalla teachers’ union), seeking their input and support.
“As a result of this collaborative work, it is my request as your superintendent that the board act swiftly this evening to adopt these resolutions that accurately reflect work happening in this great district for ALL children and families,” Mann wrote to the school board.
The two new resolutions may be read here:
For comparison, here is the original Parents’ Partnership in Education resolution the board approved last month, and here is the model proclamation drafted by PRIE.
The board’s work session is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. tonight, Nov. 21, at the Molalla High School library, 357 Francis Street. The meeting is open to the public and will include opportunities for public comment.
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