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Quashing a Food Critique Reflects on School Leadership

Editor,

In response to “Young Food Critic Invokes Backlash” June 29, readers should know this is just another issue where our school district’s leadership should be seriously questioned and challenged.

Noah Rosen was spot on with his review of the food quality and nutrition in our schools.  The request to retract his statement violates his First Amendment rights. That alone should be alarming!  Ironically, after conducting a quantitative analysis, the same results were reached.

Our district has accepted a $100,000 donation given towards the food nutrition program for improvement of food quality and staff training.

However, our union protected food service staff makes $14.82 ‐ $25.52 per hour (excluding performance or length of employment bonuses).

Their job descriptions, posted on the school website, includes all the duties, educational requirements and personal qualities that should facilitate in addressing this problem without additional funding.

The director of food services should have qualifications to solve this problem.  What are we getting for our money? Have bonuses been granted while our food quality has declined?  If we aren’t receiving these services, shouldn’t they be fired, not have more money spent on them?

District leadership seems fearful of the very union that provides employees that should be tackling these problems not receiving more money for it.

District leadership does not have a great record in recent years of taking on new projects that support the very ideals that the community of Laguna Beach was founded on and thrives in.

Superintendent Sherine Smith walked out of a presentation on learning differences between boys and girls.  Apparently, there were concerns about the accuracy of the presentation despite quantitative analysis that was outlined and supported this idea.

District leadership has turned down the idea of a privately funded “outdoor classroom and teaching garden”.  Plans were drawn with input from teachers and students and partial funding was secured.  School power indicated a “fund a need” program would be considered “if and only if our district supported it.”

Summer school is only offered for remediation.  Fine with budget concerns, but credits aren’t accepted from other credentialed schools for high school advancement.

Headway is being made in some areas but we have a long way to go.  If our district leaders can’t demonstrate “out‐of‐the‐box” thinking skills necessary to guide our students into the future of learning, and open their minds to accepting the generous ideas of their PTA, creative concepts and funding from the Laguna Beach community, shouldn’t they find another job too?

 

Sheri Morgan, Laguna Beach

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