HASLETT, Mich. (WLNS) – As the Haslett Public School District begins its final review of a new equity plan, parents and administrators listened to the final changes made by community members.
This plan was created by an equity planning committee made up of several parents and members of the Haslett community. On Monday night, people got their chance to hear more about the plan as well as new changes that add clarity.
“People think about the work that’s lied out and experienced. It’s not something that’s going to happen all in one year. But is something that will happen over time,” said Terry Flennaugh, director of Urban Education Initiatives for the College of Education in Michigan State University.
In front of a room filed with district staff and parents, Flennaugh shared changes to the 2022 equity plan. He’s the facilitator for the equity planning committee when it was first created after a March 2021 survey collected community thoughts on how the district handles inclusion.
In an effort to improve inclusion in the classroom, efforts would be broken up into several sections, from district leadership to hiring practices. School board members praised the plan. Haslett School Board President, Molly Polverento, highlighted the plan’s goal to share the perspective of all students.
“I do appreciate the definition of diversity that’s in there. That’s really a broad definition and looking at a whole range of how our student population is diverse, including, you mentioned social economics status, physical ability, learning ability,” she said.
One parent backing the plan said she feels like it gives a voice to students with disabilities like her daughter.
“She doesn’t have friends in the district. I know it’s not malicious but it’s because people don’t understand because there needs to be more training,” said parent Michelle Brock.
Other parents said they were worried about the plan’s implementation and called for transparency with the release of training material.
“I think that we should as parents have the right to see the details of what you are teaching the teachers to inpart on our children. And I am not a proponent of critical race theory. So, what the gentleman says, I think it teaches divisiveness and hatred,” said Natasha Roberts.
Administrators said the plan can be viewed online here with Monday night’s changes being added later this week. The school board is set to vote on the plan during the June 27th meeting.