These are my notes from the school board meeting of Eugene's 4J school district, 7pm @ May 14th. The room's packed -- on one side. Apparently half the room is reserved for.. open space? Freedom of movement by the sitting members? I'm not clear, but there's people in the hallway instead of in the room.
Things start out with the pledge of alliegance; strange, I haven't done that since they stopped doing it in school. A couple of people I know here are looking kind of amused, too; I don't join in, it's far too ridiculous to me personally for me to participate meaningfully. I catch myself mouthing nonsense syllables at one point to avoid seeming "weird", and stop this immediately.
Next on the agenda, they talk about.. PERS. As today's paper said they'd be taking audience commentary on the privacy issue first, they've apparently decided to shift the agenda; people start looking a bit confused, but no one minds.
The discussion's so quiet as to be nearly inaudible if you aren't lucky enough to be in the half of the crowd that's in the room; there's no amplification out in the hallway, but there's active (if quiet) discussion, which is an alternative ? if you're trying to listen.
There's discussion and a vote on the PERS measure -- something about raising an amount by a very small percentage. Not sure what's going on, but I hear the echo of unanimous yays come out of the room. Onward to the next (hah) agenda item, the EBS program.
There's a five minute presentation on the EBS program; apparently there's a movement in the pre-high-school educational system to teach students to be respectful of others. Not clear on what the extra benefit is here; I thought this stuff was being taught all the time! But I guess if it's not already being taught to students, that'd be a better idea as to why things are devolving so badly by high school.
I'm not happy with the direction of the group behaviour instructions, though; it bothers me, some of these examples: teachers standing quietly in line, showing the students how; a kid quoting what's been taught him verbatim, talking about walking calmly and quietly in the halls; where's the life that I remember from my halls in middle school? Quiet is not necessarily respectful. There is a lot of focus on respecting others, which I do appreciate; I'm glad to see it, overall.
Next is the high school report, apparently; students from various local high schools talk about what they're doing this month (?). Interesting to listen to, not really meaningful to non-students; Churchhill apparently did something they haven't done since 1980 ? yay!
(to be continued)