Human Relations Commission to Discuss Education Saturday

by Gabe Bullard on April 21, 2011

The Metro Government Human Relations Commission will meet with members of the Jefferson County School Board Saturday to discuss the superintendent search, student assignment and several other issues.

Commissioner Dawn Wilson says one of the key topics will be how to improve the student assignment plan. She says one part of the solution will be to better explain how the plan works, especially to immigrant parents.

“For some people it is a language barrier,” she says. “But it’s never really been explained to them. But there are some gaps in culture, there are some gaps in communication.”

Wilson says many immigrant parents are also worried about how their children will be treated in schools both by teachers and other students. Bullying, she says, can be a problem. The commission has already met with the search firm that’s helping the board find a new superintendent, but Wilson says the search will also be discussed with the board.

“We also expressed concerns about what the criteria were. ‘Are you looking for somebody diverse?’ We’d have loved to see them expand the search for somebody who is a qualified minority candidate,” she says.

The meeting is open to the public. Here are the talking points, from Wilson.

1.    Please give us details about the specific programs you plan to implement dealing with multi-cultural diversity.

2.    Please explain how the Board of Education and the Metro Louisville Human Relations Commission will work together to support one another regarding human relation school issues.

3.    Please provide examples of specific plans that you would be used if racial tensions should escalate.  Please list procedures that is in place to handle a serious incident dealing with racial tensions.

4.    Please describe the programs that are in place, or that you plan on implementing in the near future regarding cultural competency for all JCPS students.

5.    Please list examples of plans to work with community groups, JCTA, unions, and municipal government to provide better intergroup relationships.

6.    Please provide procedures that are or should be in place to implement the anti-bullying legislation recently passes.

7.    Two years ago the Jefferson County School system approved and anti-discrimination policy for teachers and employees of JCPS that included Gay and Lesbian personnel, but not transgendered personnel.  However, transgendered individuals are included in the anti-discrimination policy provided by Louisville Metro.  Please outline measures that you plan to take to be in compliance with the Louisville Metro Policy.

8.    Please describe the current level of parental involvement in our school system and how you plan to increase/develop more involvement in the academic success of the children.

9.    Are there other communities that have developed more parental involvement that we could evaluate to improve our involvement?

10. Are there programs in place to help parents with poor or no parental skills?  Would it be possible to develop a program to help parents with the needed skills?

11. What is the policy for promoting transparency?  Specifically, what are the areas of emphasis?

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