Board Statements, Resolutions & Directives
- 2023 Gun Violence Awareness Day Resolution
- Public Measure 1 Resolution
- Voucher Opposition Resolution
- HF2416 Opposition Resolution
- Be SMART Secure Storage Notification Resolution
- Resolution to Support Students and Families Impacted by Immigration Enforcement
- Statement of LGBTQ+ Inclusion
- Board Equity Statement
- Board Directive: Threat Reporting
Resolution to recognize First Friday in June to be
NATIONAL GUN VIOLENCE AWARENESS DAY
A resolution of the Board of Directors of the Iowa City Community School district recognizing the first Friday in June to be National Gun Violence Awareness Day to honor and remember all victims and survivors of gun violence and to declare that we as a country must do more to end
this public health crisis.
WHEREAS, the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1-18 years old is currently firearms; and
WHEREAS, every day, more than 120 Americans are killed by gun violence and more than 200 are shot and wounded, with an average of more than 17,000 gun homicides every year; and
WHEREAS, Americans are 26 times more likely to die by gun homicide than people in other high-income countries; and
WHEREAS, IOWA has 323 gun deaths every year, with a rate of 10 deaths per 100,000 people, a crisis that costs the state $4.2 billion each year, of which $53 million is paid by taxpayers. IOWA has the 41st highest rate of gun deaths in the US; and
WHEREAS, support for the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens goes hand-inhand with keeping guns away from people that shouldn’t have them; and
WHEREAS, gun violence prevention is more important than ever as we see an increase in firearm homicides, and nonfatal shootings across the country, increased calls to domestic violence hotlines, and an increase in city gun violence;
WHEREAS, in January 2013, Hadiya Pendleton was tragically shot and killed at age 15; and on June 2, 2023 to recognize the 26th birthday of Hadiya Pendleton (born: June 2, 1997), people across the United States will recognize National Gun Violence Awareness Day and wear orange
in tribute to -
(1) Hadiya Pendleton and other victims of gun violence; and
(2) the loved ones of those victims; and
WHEREAS, the idea was inspired by a group of Hadiya’s friends, who asked their classmates to commemorate her life by wearing orange; they chose this color because hunters wear orange to announce themselves to other hunters when out in the woods, and orange is a color that
symbolizes the value of human life; and
WHEREAS, anyone can join this campaign by pledging to Wear Orange on June 2nd, the first Friday in June in 2023, to help raise awareness about gun violence; and
WHEREAS, by wearing orange on June 2, 2023 Americans will raise awareness about gun violence and honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors; and
WHEREAS, we as a district commit to educating our students, families and staff about gun safety in hopes of reducing gun violence and encourage responsible gun ownership to help keep our families and communities safe.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Iowa City Community School District School Board recognizes the first Friday in June, June 2, 2023, to be National Gun Violence Awareness Day. We encourage community stakeholders to support their local communities’ efforts to prevent the tragic effects of gun violence and to honor and value human lives.
May 23, 2023
Iowa City Community School District Public
Measure 1 Resolution
WHEREAS, Public Measure 1, “the gun amendment,” is on the midterm election ballot, and it reads:
Summary: Provides that the right of the people of Iowa to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict
Full Text: Article I of the Constitution of the State of Iowa is amended by adding the following new section: Right to keep and bear arms. Sec. 1A. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.
WHEREAS, voting “yes” to Public Measure 1 supports incorporating the Second Amendment into the Iowa Constitution and requiring strict scrutiny for any alleged violations of the Second Amendment brought before a court;
WHEREAS, Iowans’ Second Amendment rights are already guaranteed by the United States Constitution;
WHEREAS, Public Measure 1 is intended to make gun regulation more difficult by imposing a strict scrutiny standard on said regulation;
WHEREAS, Public Measure 1 strengthens legal leverage to overturn gun regulations in Iowa, including laws that prohibit felons and domestic abusers from possessing firearms;
WHEREAS, Public Measure 1 will make it more difficult for Iowa lawmakers to pass common sense gun legislation indefinitely;
WHEREAS, if Public Measure 1 passes, Iowa becomes one of four states to make it harder to regulate gun ownership (the other three, Louisiana, Alabama, and Missouri, are among five states with the highest rates of gun deaths in the United States);
WHEREAS, gun violence, including school shootings, has become more prevalent in American society;
WHEREAS, keeping students, teachers, and staff safe from the threat of gun violence is the responsibility of all adult stakeholders in the community;
WHEREAS, because the midterm election is November 8, 2022, we need voters to be informed about Public Measure 1, which threatens to undermine the safety of all Iowans;
NOW, THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED, that the Iowa City Community School District Board implores community stakeholders to vote “no” to Public Measure 1, the “gun amendment.”
Passed and approved this 18th day of October 2022.
Iowa City Community School District
Voucher Opposition Resolution
Director Pilcher Hayek introduced and caused to be read the Resolution hereinafter set out and moved its adoption; seconded by Director Eastham after due consideration thereof by the Board, the President put the question upon the adoption of said Resolution and, the roll having been called, the following Directors voted:
Aye: Claussen, Eastham, Eyestone, Finch, Pilcher Hayek, Malone
Whereupon the President declared said Resolution duly adopted as follows:
WHEREAS, the legislature will consider enacting vouchers; and
WHEREAS, the Board, in consultation with its community, has determined that the Iowa legislature should not enact voucher programs, regardless of branding, and should continue to promote and fully invest in Iowa’s public schools, more specifically:
- Public dollars are for the use of public community members. The public’s investment should be used to support public schools within our communities. Given the pandemic’s profound impact on public schools, it is important to ensure public funds support staff, programs and services that meet the needs of Iowa’s public schools. These schools serve all students regardless of race, religion, gender, socio-economic status, and disability. Private schools operate under no requirement to serve all students, making competition an unfair argument.
- Public funds require public accountability and transparency. The proposed bill illustrates difficulties in ensuring appropriate oversight. Public schools are overseen by a publicly elected citizen governing board, are required to report academic results to the general public, have an annual public financial audit, and must be transparent with all expenditures and decisionmaking. Private and religious schools are not held to any of these standards.
- The benefits of strong public schools encourage both small and large businesses to invest in our communities and contribute toward expanded economic development throughout Iowa. A welleducated populace becomes an employable populace.
- This promises to be an ongoing, expansive, and costly voucher program. As demonstrated in other states, while voucher systems may start small, once programs are established, they are easily expanded. Underserved families will be unable to fund the difference between the amount of the provided voucher and the costs of tuition at a private institution. The proposed voucher program would divert crucial public dollars from Iowa public schools, which educate the vast majority of students in the state.
- Public school funding has remained at record low levels of increase for over a decade, limiting public school opportunities to innovate or expand future-ready program offerings. State legislators seem unable or unwilling to adequately fund even one educational system. A second taxpayer funded voucher system promises to divert even more funding away from the public school system that is entrusted with educating the very large majority of young Iowans.
WHEREAS, this Board believes that Iowa public schools provide a storied and strong educational environment for Iowa’s children, and that voucher programs of any type, would put the system at risk by directing resources away from public schools to private institutions who are not subject to the same rigorous scrutiny, educational standards, or oversight for their use of taxpayer resources.
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Board:
Passed and approved this 22 day of February, 2022
Iowa City Community School District
HF2416 Opposition Resolution
Director Pilcher Hayek introduced and caused to be read the Resolution hereinafter set out and moved its adoption; seconded by Director Claussen after due consideration thereof by the Board, the President put the question upon the adoption of said Resolution and, the roll call having been called, the following Directors voted:
Aye: JP Claussen, Charlie Eastham, Shawn Eyestone, Jayne Finch, Maka Pilcher Hayek, Ruthina Malone,
Whereupon the President declared said Resolution duly adopted as follows:
WHEREAS, Governor Reynolds signed HF2416, also known as the Anti-Transgender Sports Ban:
On March 3, 2022, Governor Reynolds signed HF2416, also known as the Anti-Transgender Sports Ban. This bill prevents transgender athletes from participating in high school, and in some cases, college and elementary school sports.
The Iowa City Community School District is strongly opposed to this bill. We want to make clear our ongoing support for transgender students and student-athletes. Our District has in place one of the most robust policies in the country to protect our LGBTQ+ youth. This bill will not detract us from our commitment to ensure every member of our school community is valued and respected regardless of
gender identity and sexual orientation.
An attack on transgender students is an attack on civil rights.
WHEREAS, this Board is strongly opposed to this bill and wants to make clear their ongoing support for transgender students and student-athletes.
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Board:
Passed and approved on this 22nd day of March, 2022
Iowa City Community School District
Secure Storage Notification Resolution
WHEREAS, Evidence strongly suggests that secure firearm storage is an essential component to any effective strategy to keep schools and students safe;
WHEREAS, An estimated 5.4 million American children live in households with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm;
WHEREAS, Every year, roughly 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else. That’s roughly one unintentional shooting per day, and 70 percent of these incidents take place inside a home;
WHEREAS, Another 1,200 children and teens die by gun suicide each year, most often using guns belonging to a family member;
WHEREAS, In incidents of gun violence on school grounds, 75 percent of active shooters are current students or recent graduates, and up to 80 percent of shooters under the age of 18 obtained their guns from their own home, a relative’s home, or from friends;
WHEREAS, Research shows that secure firearm storage practices are associated with up to an 85 percent reduction in the risk of unintentional firearm injuries among children and teens;
WHEREAS, The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center recommends the importance of appropriate storage of weapons because many school attackers used firearms acquired from their homes;
WHEREAS, Across the country, lawmakers, community members, and local leaders are working together to implement public awareness campaigns, such as the Be SMART program, which is endorsed by the National PTA and which encourages secure gun storage practices and highlights the public safety risks of unsecured guns;
WHEREAS, School districts across the country have begun to proactively send materials home to parents and guardians informing them of applicable firearm storage laws and firearm secure storage best practices;
WHEREAS, Keeping students, teachers and staff safe from the threat of gun violence should be the responsibility of all adult stakeholders at each of our school sites;
WHEREAS, State law imposes penalties on adults when a child gains unsupervised access to unsecured stored firearms;
WHEREAS, In order to continue with preventative measures to increase student and school safety we must act now; now therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Iowa City Community School District Board directs the Superintendent and staff to update the Student Handbook to include information about parents’ legal obligations regarding the secure storage of firearms;
RESOLVED, further, That the Iowa City Community School District Board directs the Superintendent to create an appropriate letter, in appropriate translations, to parents and guardians that explains the importance of secure gun storage and the legal obligations to protect minors from accessing irresponsibly stored guns, to be included in annual registration materials at each school site, and requiring a signature acknowledging awareness of secure gun storage responsibilities; and, be it finally;
RESOLVED, That the Iowa City Community School District Board and the Superintendent will continue to work with local law enforcement agencies, health agencies and non-profits to collaborate and increase efforts to inform District parents of their obligations regarding secure storage of firearms in their homes.
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Board: Passed and approved on this 8th day of February, 2022.
Resolution to Support Students and Families Impacted by Immigration Enforcement
A RESOLUTION of the Board of Directors of the Iowa City Community School District affirming its commitment to a safe and supportive school environment for all students regardless of citizen status and immigration status.
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court held in Plyer v. Doe (1982) that no public school district has a basis to deny children access to education based on their immigration status, citing the harm it would inflict on the child and society itself, and the equal protection rights of the
Fourteenth Amendment; and
WHEREAS, public schools cannot inquire regarding the immigration status of student or the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) as part of the enrollment process; and
WHEREAS, the safe and supportive environment would be disrupted by the presence of immigration agents who come onto District property for the purposes of removing students or their family members, or obtaining information about students and their families; and
WHEREAS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activities in and around schools, early education centers, and adult school facilities would be a severe disruption to the learning environment and educational setting for all students; and
WHEREAS, ICE’s longstanding policy states that it will not conduct immigration enforcement activity at any sensitive location, which includes schools, without special permission by specific federal law enforcement officials, unless exigent circumstances exist; and
WHEREAS, No state or federal law mandates that local districts assist ICE in the enforcement of immigration laws;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Directors of the Iowa City
Community School District as follows:
- District personnel shall not inquire about or record a student’s or a family member’s immigration status, and pursuant to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), shall not disclose, without parental consent or Court order, the immigration status of any student, or other personally identifiable information.
- Any request by immigration agents for information or to access a school site shall be initially denied and immediately forwarded to the Superintendent and General Counsel for review and a decision on whether to reverse the denial and allow access to the site, and/or a decision on whether the information will ensure District compliance with the law. The request must be provided with adequate notice so that the Superintendent and General Counsel can take steps to provide for the emotional and physical safety of students and staff.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the foregoing was adopted by the Board of Directors of the Iowa City Community School District on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
Statement of LGBTQ+ Inclusion
The Iowa City Community School District is committed to creating a safe and inclusive school environment for all students free from harassment, intimidation, bullying, and discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.
School climate is an important predictor of student success for all students, however, schools can be especially unwelcoming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth. Research shows that LGBTQ+ students, nationally, and in Iowa, experience discrimination, harassment, and violence more frequently than their non-LGBTQ+ peers. Data from the District’s 2017 School Climate Report reveals that students who identify as LGBTQ+ are significantly less likely to report that they feel they belong in school, that school staff is supportive of them, and that they feel that their contributions are valued in the classroom.
The District is devoted to addressing the needs and inequities that LGBTQ+ youth face in our schools. This commitment to inclusion of our LGBTQ+ students builds on existing Iowa law and current District policies. Incorporating an inclusive atmosphere free from discrimination is identified in Title IX, the Iowa Code, the District’s non-discrimination policy, and the District’s mission statement. It is our shared responsibility to ensure every member of our school community is valued and respected regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation. We are actively working to create more inclusive policies and practices that support and affirm the identities of LGBTQ+ students. We believe that learning about the diversity of humankind is an essential part of education in a democratic society. We encourage our students, staff, and members of the community to celebrate the inclusiveness and diversity that contributes to growth, success, safety, and quality of life for everyone at the Iowa City Community School District.
Board Equity Statement
The Iowa City Community School District believes that all students can achieve at high levels and that equitable classrooms are essential to their success. Eliminating disparities in educational opportunities is fundamental to the nature of public education. The District is committed to overcoming barriers to learning that have been identified through educational research. The District is particularly focused on student experiences and outcomes related to socioeconomic learner status (identified as lowSES students in the district's student data management system), special education learner status, English language learner status, race, creed, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or disability.
Direct all staff to immediately report any threats, substantiated or unsubstantiated, to law enforcement with parent communication as soon as possible.
- Threat: A threat is the expression of intent to harm one’s self, another person or property that will compromise the safety of the school as a whole or a substantial number of students. A threat can be spoken, written or symbolic (e.g. a gesture). A threat can be direct, indirect, veiled or conditional. A threat may be a crime.
- Immediate: A threat is consider immediate when harm is imminent and the individual(s) making the threat has the present ability and/or means to complete the act.
All threats must be taken seriously and evaluated to address imminent danger and determine course of action.
- If the threat is immediate, staff should contact law enforcement directly and immediately (by calling 911)
- If the threat is not “immediate,” staff should report the threat to school administration (or designee).
- In determining the need to contact local law enforcement, the administrator will consider the following factors:
- Age of student
- Threat involving use of weapon
- Totality of the Circumstances (refer to the District Safety Flip Chart and/or District Disciplinary Protocols and Procedures)
A threat that has been reported to the police will be communicated to parents when administration, in conjunction with law enforcement, determines there is a threat to the school community. The timing of the communication will be dependent on the circumstances of the threat and will include consideration that parental communication does not impede a police investigation.