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Over 100 gather for North Scott school board meeting regarding High School, Junior High assignment and activities

The two incidents were not related to one another
Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 11:51 PM CDT
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ELDRIDGE, Iowa (KWQC) - Monday night’s North Scott school board meeting was moved to the Junior High gym as numerous students, parents, and community members came out to speak about two recent events, one at the junior high and another at the high school.

At the Junior high, seventh graders were involved in a privilege walk assignment where students would add or substract to a score based on how they responded to answers. Questions in a privilege walk can range from whether or not your family has a computer to if you’ve ever gone to bed hungry.

North Scott Superintendent Joe Stutting said he had seventh graders do the activity “after administration became aware of repeated bullying and racist behaviors amongst our seventh graders.”

Some parents, like Abby Costello, felt hurt by the privilege walk.

“I take great offense that some of these questions, basically, made my sacrifices seem inept,” Costello said.

Another parent said while the execution of the privilege walk could be reworked, but found the walk to be a tough yet necessary conversation.

“Maybe some of the statements could have been worded different, my husband and I looked at it and said ‘privilege as a word and whenever you think about it is uncomfortable’,” North Scott parent Trisha Poole said, “I don’t want to learn about how privileged I am but nobody that’s underprivileged wants to hear how underprivileged they are.”

Moving forward, Superintendent Stutting said he would notify parents about any future activities like the privilege walk,

“In retrospect we would have and should have relayed to our parents that we were having some discriminatory harassment and needed to do a learning form in order to do our due diligence to remedy the environment as per Iowa code,” Stutting said.

Meanwhile, in a dual-credit college class for current North Scott seniors and juniors, a survey and assignment was given in which some parents and community members found polarizing or too political. You can find a copy of the survey and assignment down below.

students were instructed to pick a claim they disagreed with, and write a rebuttal against it...
students were instructed to pick a claim they disagreed with, and write a rebuttal against it and note how they felt when putting together the rebuttal(KWQC)
students were instructed to pick a claim they disagreed with, and write a rebuttal against it...
students were instructed to pick a claim they disagreed with, and write a rebuttal against it and note how they felt when putting together the rebuttal(KWQC)
students were instructed to pick a claim they disagreed with, and write a rebuttal against it...
students were instructed to pick a claim they disagreed with, and write a rebuttal against it and note how they felt when putting together the rebuttal(KWQC)
students were instructed to pick a claim they disagreed with, and write a rebuttal against it...
students were instructed to pick a claim they disagreed with, and write a rebuttal against it and note how they felt when putting together the rebuttal(KWQC)
students were instructed to pick a claim they disagreed with, and write a rebuttal against it...
students were instructed to pick a claim they disagreed with, and write a rebuttal against it and note how they felt when putting together the rebuttal(KWQC)

While some parents spoke against the assignment.

“31 of the items were inflammatory to conservative leaning individuals while only five were inflammatory towards liberals, that in it of itself is saying something,” North Scott parent Pete Drahozal said.

Meanwhile, numerous students spoke in defense of the assignment and their teacher.

“As this is a college class taken by seniors and a very select few juniors, it’s expected that students have a higher maturity level and would be able to comfortably speak about or write about their viewpoints on these topics,” student Alex Dickman said.

“The fact that we are all here talking about this issue because a small handful of parents that don’t agree is a real problem. Last week ended with all of us students knowing that parents were texting and calling the school, some making threats on the teacher herself, which is totally wrong. I as well as my parents think Ms. Sambdman needs an apology not only from the self-proclaimed important parents that objected this topic...but also for the school for not standing up for her,” student Mckenna Santee said.

Superintendent Stutting found the assignment to be appropriate for high school and college aged students, but said adjustments have been to avoid things getting misconstrued.

“For the future the list has been modified to show statements from both viewpoints,” Stutting said.

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