The Superior School Board on Oct. 7 approved changes to the policy limiting what personal information about students would be available upon request for things such as concert programs, team rosters, class birthday lists and school publications. The board voted to strike student addresses and telephone numbers from the list.
Board members also got a first look at two policies that would be up for approval next month, both of which incorporate the city of Superior’s conversion therapy ban. A final vote on both is expected at the November board meeting.
On Aug. 20, the Superior City Council voted to ban conversion therapy, a form of therapy intended to make lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and questioning youth straight.
A nondiscrimination protections clause would be added to the School District of Superior’s policy on school counseling and academic and career planning prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy. Any practice of conversion therapy would result in termination of any contract or services with that provider.
A number of board members asked if the policy could be strengthened any further.
“This feels like not enough,” said Board member Laura Gapske, but the language is similar to that used by other districts and met the approval of OutFront Minnesota,an LGBTQ advocacy organization.
District Administrator Amy Starzecki said she showed the policy to counselors, psychologists and the school social worker and they felt the language was appropriate.
The Board is also considering a new policy that would establish an approval process for agencies and service providers that work with students during the school day.
“We should protect our students,” Starzecki said. “We need to make sure we have certain protections in place if we have these folks in our schools.”
While the district has partnership agreements with a handful of service providers, the policy would ensure all agencies working with students during the school day would have the same protections — background checks, confidentiality agreements, insurance and the like. It also inccludes conversion therapy restrictions.
The district does have a policy regarding career readiness services, Gapske said, but this is wider.
“We should have a separate policy around this,” she said. “And then again it does bring in the nondiscrimination protections and conversion therapy ban partnering with agencies that are offering these services.”
The Superior School District will hold its annual budget hearing and November Committee of the Whole meeting at 5 p.m. Oct. 28 in the administration office, 3025 Tower Ave.