LSC meeting focused on roof leaks and board members farewell
LAFAYETTE, Ind. – This month Lafayette School Corporation The school board meeting was anything but mundane, as items on the agenda included emergency repairs and emotional farewells.
Monday night’s meeting saw a tearful goodbye between board members, an eighth-grader standing up for change in the school district, the appointment of two new principals and the approval of a resolution to fund emergency repairs to Murdock Primary School.
The emergency resolution to fund repairs to Murdock
The LSC Board of Directors has approved an emergency resolution to fund repairs to the roof of Murdock Elementary, which suffered extensive water damage in late February due to extreme weather, said Eric Rody, chief financial officer. of LSC.
Buckets have been placed throughout the school to catch water that drips through the roof.
Under normal circumstances, the board would publish offers and approve an offer at a later date. Due to the scale of the repairs, the council bypassed the advertising period and immediately accepted the offers.
The council will hire Etica Group, an Indianapolis contractor, as a project consultant at a cost of $28,500, or about 6% of the total cost.
The council estimates the project will cost approximately $750,000.
Sprague announces retirement
After 20 years, Rebecca Sprague has announced that she will be leaving the LSC school board, saying she will be moving to Virginia with her husband.
Sprague looked teary-eyed as his fellow board members shared some memories with the audience.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with you, for a long time too. It’s going to be very difficult to find someone of your integrity, honesty and character,” said Kay Walton.
“It’s hard for me not to be emotional because she’s been my girlfriend for a long time. It’s hard to lose her from the board, but it’s also hard to lose her in my life. I know that we will remain friends and keep in touch, but it is difficult and she knows that I love her and wish her the best.
After wiping his eyes, Sprague spoke to the board and the public about his experience at LSC.
“It has been one of the best things apart from my life. I really enjoyed this service to the community. I was a young parent in Murdock and the manager was Diana. She called me and told me just said there was an opening, and the board was looking to appoint someone, and she thought I would be a good fit and would be interested,” Sprague said.
“I didn’t know anything about school boards, so I was like, ‘Okay, of course I’ll do it!’ And I’m so glad I said yes. The people I’ve met and the things I’ve learned and the lives I know we’ve touched. That had been very good advice to work on.
LSC have 45 days to find a replacement for Sprague’s seat. The new appointee would be a resident of the Sixth District. If the council is unable to find a replacement, a local judge will appoint someone in their place.
A plan for free feminine hygiene products
During public comments, Brandon Hawkins, the principal of Tecumseh Junior High School, introduced Ava Bittinger, an eighth grader who shared her concerns about the relative inaccessibility of free feminine hygiene products.
Students who need the products must now go to the nurse’s office, but Bittinger asked the board why the items weren’t readily available in the girls’ bathrooms.
“CNN reported in 2019, according to a study, one in five teens struggled to afford menstrual products or couldn’t buy them at all. And one in four teens missed class due to access to menstrual hygiene products. It just goes to show that if we had a period product in stock in the school toilets, students wouldn’t have to worry about missing class,” said Bittinger.
Bittinger shared with the council the testimonial his comrades wrote about their experiences with the lack of access to vintage products.
“I was at cheer training and I didn’t have any feminine products. I was too scared to ask someone for a product. If there had been products in the bathrooms I wouldn’t have had a problem and wouldn’t have to worry. Anonymous,” Bittinger said.
Another testimony was read.
“Last year I had my period and no one in the bathroom or in the classroom had any products. I had to use glued toilet paper and I didn’t know the nurse had any. Since I had no product, I was bleeding through my pants.
To address this issue, Bittinger proposed a plan to the LSC board on how to afford the change she wants to make at LSC.
“I met this company called August, which works directly with schools to provide these products. I went ahead and named our school directly to them. If they don’t get back to us, I have other options in mind. We could apply for a grant through the YWCA, we could set up a fundraising page, or we could run annual or monthly campaigns. I ask that you create a lasting solution to this problem by including funding in the annual budget to provide period products to all LSC schools.
The public and the board applauded Bittinger for his willingness to champion such a change.
The board told Bittinger it would contact her later this week to discuss the matter further.
LSC Board Appoints Two New Directors
Prior to the end of the meeting, the LSC Board of Directors appointed two new trustees to the LSC district.
The board recommended and approved Denise Des Enfants as the new Principal of Murdock Elementary School. Prior to this promotion, she served as Vice Principal of Tecumseh Junior High School for the past nine years.
The board recommended and approved Frank Meyer as the new principal of Tecumseh Junior High School. He had been vice-principal at Avon High School for the past nine years.
Noe Padilla is a journalist at Journal & Courier. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at 1NoePadilla.