USD 383 candidates discuss mascot

High School's Indian mascot following testimonails from others from a committee that met from March to July to focus on the issue. The board created the committee keep away from 2016 after months of protest from a local advocacy group that claimed the Indians name and image are offensive and considered them appropriation of Native American culture. Others have defended the mascot and have argued it honors indigenous peoples. "I do not have intention as a board member of bringing it back to the forefront, Hagemeister stated. "I think that the obligation of the board moving forward is to take responsible action with the decision that the current board has made, While the four candidates said they will observe the current board's decision, Coleman and Prewitt said they believe the issue will be restored up again in the future. Coleman said the board now has concrete tasks to keep up, Including examine how the district addresses diversity in its curriculum, Especially when it comes to Native Americans. Prewitt addressed the issue captured in a letter to The Mercury, Articulating her support for changing the mascot. She said her personal view of the mascot issue has changed because the committee decided and she knows how to work as a team and support a team decision, She supposed. "My purpose in writing that paper wasn't so much to take a side as to show that even if there is a controversial issue I'm going to address it and I'm not going to sit on the sidelines and watch it happen, Prewitt claims. "And when I do address it I'm also going to propose the most effective results, With a rise in enrollment in the district, A proposed solution has been moving sixth graders from elementary to junior high school to make space for more children in elementary schools. USD 383 saw a rise of 212 students this year. Lewiston said enrollment is anticipated to grow by more than 400 students in the next five years. Moving sixth graders up is a viable alternative but the district will still have to build sixth grade wings at elementary schools, Lewiston stated that. "We're going to need to build space for the new students whether that's in the sixth grade campus in the existing middle schools or if it means building an additional elementary school, Lewiston expressed. The other candidates agreed that sixth graders could be moved to junior high school. Hagemeister, Whose fourth grade small attends class in a mobile unit, Said schools are usually bursting at the seams. Hagemeister said she lengthy met with Emily Cherms, The district's English as a second or other language sponsor, To speak about diversity within the district. Hagemeister said she asked Cherms what some of her dreams matched to inclusiveness in the district and Cherms immediately said she wants to open a center where families can go and get help with enrollment paperwork and feel welcome. Hagemeister said she props up idea. Lewiston and Prewitt also addressed socioeconomic diversity within the district and said it's important for students to be familiar with those differences. Lewiston said it's important for educators to know of the resources Manhattan offers to help those in lower socioeconomic status bulldog costumes for sale. She also said educating the city about the more than 300 homeless students that are part of the district so that community members can step up and contribute. Prewitt said that education could come from bringing in guests from the international population at K State or people with been homeless or military personnel who have traveled in order to foster diversity. In handling bullying, The candidates said the district needs the perfect policy and needs to continue to educate staff, Increase social worker staff and improve the direction they respond to reports or signs of bullying. Prewitt said rather than suspending bullies, Schools need to start an empathy program where children discover how to feel and the effects of their actions. She also suggested a program where students being bullied are taught shield themselves. She said the current program is limited because bullying is still happening and suicide and suicide attempts are still occurring. Coleman said the anti bullying program is useful at what it does as a preventive program, But the district needs to teach educators how to cope once students speak up about bullying or signs of depression or suicide. She said all you need one adult not responding correctly once a student reports bullying for a student to not speak up again. "They have to trust us as adults that we are going to make the best decisions for them, Coleman being spoken. "We can't ask our students to be brave and stand up and report bullying if we as adults don't be brave and stand up and make decisions about what to do sparky the fire dog costume,


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