Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

March 20, 2014

Open letter to the Centerville School District Board

The Daily Iowegian

---- — It has come to my attention that recently a parent in the Centerville School District was planning on chaperoning a band trip. The parent submitted to a background check which is not required by law or outlined in the school district’s policy 904.2 regarding volunteers. After submitting to said background check the parent had a minor hit on the check. The parent was then told that they wouldn’t be allowed to chaperone the trip.

I personally contacted Mr. Ryan to get his explanation on this decision and to understand the district’s policy on disqualifying a volunteer. He explained to me that it is his responsibility to protect the 1,300+ students in the district and referred me to 904.2 in the policy. He never gave me a clear guideline and said it was his decision.

After reading 904.2, I emailed Mr. Ryan asking for the guidelines from the administration team as laid out in the final sentence of the policy. It has now been over 24 hours without as much as a reply from Mr. Ryan. This is why I’m now voicing my concerns to you.

Allowing one person to make this decision, without written guidelines, opens the school district to potential discrimination lawsuits. As a taxpayer this concerns me greatly because our money should be spent educating our children not defending the district in a preventable lawsuit.

I’m also very disappointed in Mr. Ryan and his lack of response to not only a parent, but a taxpayer in this community.

Thank you for your consideration and I will be actively following the progress of this situation and hopefully we will have a clear policy promptly.


John Bridges