The Mitchell School District may decide to expand upon a new policy on sexual misconduct to be more comprehensive than what's federally required.
The issue was discussed Monday at the Mitchell Board of Education's regularly scheduled meeting Monday at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy.
The policy in question is required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. It prohibits school district employees from endorsing other employees known or believed to have engaged in sexual misconduct.
As it's currently written, the policy only prevents such a recommendation for an employee who "engaged in sexual misconduct, with a minor or a student, in violation of the law." The board approved that policy Monday, but discussed the possibility of adding language that would include sexual misconduct with other employees.
"The reason these are the only two included is that that's what the law requires. We could include others," Superintendent Joe Graves said when board member Matt Christiansen asked why school employees were not included in the policy.
While board members were in favor of adding more comprehensive wording, Graves said he'd consult with other sources to discuss whether there might be currently unidentified drawbacks to making changes.
The possibility of specifying where sexual misconduct would have to occur to be covered under the policy was also discussed, but no changes were made to the policy as of the end of the meeting.
In other business, the board:
• Discussed and approved changes to handbooks for the 2019-20 school year, including specifications for types of headphones permitted for student use at Mitchell Middle School.
• Approved revisions of K-12 and MTI board policies 100-300 on second reading.
• Approved a continuation of a waiver for middle school students to receive high school credit for Geometry and Algebra II, which will be discussed at the next math curriculum review.
• Approved a motion to adopt and renew a participation agreement with ASBSD for Protective Trust South Dakota School District Benefits Fund for the 2019-20 school year.
• Approved a motion to renew a participation agreement with ASBSD for the worker's compensation fund for the 2019-20 school year.
• Approved a motion to declare kitchen and classroom items as surplus.