Mother addresses FD school board on bullying | News, Sports, Jobs

A Fort Dodge mother is urging district leaders to address serious bullying issues at a Fort Dodge elementary school.

Marissa Sacrificed shared her concerns with the Fort Dodge Community School District Board of Education on Monday evening.

“I’m not here today to call attention to the harassment and assault that is occurring in this district at an alarming rate, because I’m aware of the fact that you already know — but to call attention to the fact that you aren’ t doing enough about it,” she said.

Sacrificed told the board about bullying and racial descrimination her child has experienced at Feelhaver Elementary School throughout this school year.

The bullying has gotten so bad that her child attempted suicide last month, she said.

Sacrificed told the board that when students report the bullying to teachers and administrators at the school, it gets brushed off as “girl drama.”

Sacrificed also alleged that a staff member is involved in an investigation involving racial descrimination and that the principal admitted to her that that staff member has a bias against people of color.

“Zero tolerance regarding bullying will never succeed in this community as long as there’s no accountability,” Sacrificed said. “And it also tells our children that you don’t take their pain and suffering seriously.”

The board did not take any action on Sacrificed’s concerns at Monday’s meeting.

Also during the meeting, the board approved the purchase of new textbooks for the trigonometry and precalculus classes at Fort Dodge Senior High.

Kirsten Doebel, director of secondary education, told the board she received two bids for the books — $13,276.55 from McGraw Hill, and $13,954.90 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing.

She said after discussing the options with the math teachers at the high school, they felt the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt textbooks more closely aligned with the district’s math curriculum standards, even though the bid was about $700 higher than the other.

The purchase will include 40 trigonometry textbooks and 50 precalculus textbooks. The previous textbooks were “severely outdated,” she said.

The textbook purchase will be paid for out of the curriculum budget already allocated to the curriculum department, Doebel said.

The school board also approved a $51,597 bid for the replacement of the 12 basketball hoop structures in the Fort Dodge Senior High gym.

According to Activities Director Josh Porter, the current hoop structures are original to the build of the gym and many are broken and unsafe.

Porter said the district just received one bid for the project from Phillips Commercial, of Des Moines. The project will include the tearing out of the original hoops, new safety straps and electric winches. The backboards, rims and backboard pads will be reused.

Porter said this is an ideal time to approve this project because it can be aligned with roof construction being completed on the gym this summer.

The cost of the project will be paid for by the physical plant and equipment levy fund.

In his superintendent update, Superintendent Derrick Joel congratulated Branwyn Greathouse for being appointed the new director of special education for the next school year.

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