Some decisions were reached during Tuesdays heated school board meeting

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 7:27 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Schools back in session, but it wasn’t exactly business as usual for the Rapid City School Board. Tuesday’s meeting was contentious, with a variety of hot topics discussed and protests outside.

The first line of business, school closures due to the pandemic, Rapid City Areal Schools Area 5 Representative, Clay Colombe says it was decided Tuesday night that the Superintendent will not have the authority to make that decision alone, “closing due to a pandemic requires board action, if there are other safety concerns for the staff and student that would still be in the hands of the Superintendent, obviously any weather closing will still be the same thing.”

A two-week mask mandate was also proposed, and ultimately shot down, “I think that would have been a good idea to help curb the current rise in cases and other sicknesses in the school district, but I think most importantly that needs to be a decision in the hands of the parents and students and recognizing when you’re sick and staying home,” Colombe said.

And removing student body representatives was discussed, Colombe says if that change is made it would only be temporary, “that’s why we voted to move it to the next board meeting so we don’t have a week lag where there isn’t a policy, were taking it out of this policy and putting it into a new one so there isn’t no time when it isn’t in doubt.”

Rapid City School Board meetings are open to the public and the media, but the way the media accesses those meetings could change, including requiring media to display credentials at all times, “I did not bring this policy change to the board but from the meeting last night and discussions with other board members its to clearly identify the media to the public and to school board members, but again its an open meeting to the public and everyone can attend those meetings,” Colombe said.

Media access and the student body representatives policy changes will get second readings at the next board meeting and eventually could head for a vote.

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