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cardnialteach 11-02-2015 12:17 PM

Letter Wording Help Needed
I have been approached by parents who feel we as a school have not done enough to address the film that was shown in a particular class last week. Right now we are legally bound and there are certain things we can't discuss. I sent an email to my principal and superintendent with a proposal of sorts to address some issues with students. Opening my door for students to talk was the purpose of my visits last week, but there are still some students who do not feel comfortable stepping out and seeking help or asking questions. Here is my proposal:

Once final decisions are made on November 9th, would it be possible for me to meet with groups of students and more directly address the biggest issues of concerns with them from the video. This would look differently than my visit last week to each classroom. I have had contact with a parent or two that expressed concerns about how the content is not being addressed with the students. This biggest message is really the ending where it just ends leaving the idea implanted that she commits suicide.

This should be treated like any other "crisis" situation where we should not expect everyone to participate. My thought would be to have a note go home Tuesday addressing the concerns I have heard from parents. Basically, I will take any students on Thursday that would like to discuss the major talking points from the video that was shown. If their student has questions or concerns they would return the signed "opt in" form by Thursday morning. During their assigned hour, I would have those students come to my office and we can have an open discussion. Any student that does not have a signed form would just report to their Social Studies class like normal.
Here is the response from my superintendent:

We can discuss the content in the film at any time. The only thing we cannot do is address why it was shown or discuss who showed it and the right or wrong of showing it. As far as the content and discussion on that - that can happen at any time.
I am having trouble starting out my letter in a way that I do not overstep what I can not talk about with what I can talk about. I am working on a draft tonight. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. I would also like some feedback on my draft when I complete it. The biggest area of concern from students talking to their parents was the fact the girl slit her wrist at the end of the video. You see the girls parents break down the door and then the movie goes black. There were also so religious references that were made that made many parents and our local priest very mad which we may touch on if they want. My main goal is to allow them the chance to talk with their peers and express their feelings.

eeza 11-02-2015 06:31 PM

draft letter

I am having trouble starting out my letter in a way that I do not overstep what I can not talk about with what I can talk about.
Oooh, this sounds tricky! I would definitely get your superintendent to sign off on your draft when its done.

As for the quote above, I think if you state what the superintendent says about it being content-focused, then you're good to go. It's a big vague, sure, but that seems to be the direction that the superintendent wants to go. You can add the line of "Please feel free to contact me (or the superintendent if you think that is appropriate) if you have any further questions". Then you can be more specific if parents want more info.

Don't know if this helps. Keep us posted on how it goes. Best of luck!

cardnialteach 11-03-2015 07:33 AM

This has gotten a lot more tricky
I really don't know what to do now. This whole situation has gotten way out of control and the media is now involved which makes this even trickier to address via a letter to parents.

Guess I will be talking to my administrators today to see how they want to proceed.

eeza 11-03-2015 03:51 PM

draft letter
Oh, man, that does make it more complicated! Just make sure you run everything by admin and get their stamp of approval. Best of luck and keep us posted as to how things go!

GraceKrispy 11-03-2015 08:25 PM

I would be hesitant to put something in writing at this point unless it came directly from administration. I feel it is their job at this point to put out something official. I think if you've written anything that could come back and bite you, they may not stand up for you if it didn't come from them. What did the administration say? With media involved, I would really be afraid admin wouldn't have my back, even if I thought they would (or they said they would) because bottom line is that they want/need to protect the school.

Let us know what's happening with that!

cardnialteach 11-04-2015 05:50 AM

As of right now i am not going to proceed with anything.

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