The balance between parental rights and school safety is a constant battle for school districts. On Tuesday, December 12, the Alpine School District (ASD) Board of Education changed Policy 1250, “Visits to the School,” to regulate school campus visitors more tightly.
“We’ve been trying to better provide safety at our schools, and that was the purpose of this change,” said ASD Attorney Kraig Brinkerhoff to begin the presentation of the district changes. Brinkerhoff emphasized the key priorities for the policy, which now included requiring all visitors to check in when entering schools and ensuring all staff members, including district staff and board members, always have their employee badges visible on campus.
Changes to the policy include:
Statement of Policy: “The Board of Education and staff of the Alpine School District
welcome and strongly encourage understand that parents and patrons may need to visit the school and hereby the process for accommodating those visits as appropriate members of the community and other interested persons to visit the schools. “
1.2 Principals are to take actions necessary to
make visitors feel welcome while at the same time assuring the safety and well-being of students and employees, and they are ultimately responsible for the application of this policy.
188.8.131.52 Authorization may
“I was a bit concerned at the change of tone with this policy and understand it can be a sign of our times, but maybe someone from the policy committee could comment on the change from ‘you’re welcome and strongly encouraged’ to ‘you may need to visit the school,’” said Ada Wilson who represents Orem and Vineyard on the Board.
“I think it just reflects a change of times that we want parents to come and participate at schools, but we’re not open arms welcoming the whole community,” responded Joylin Lincoln, who serves on the policy committee and represents West Lehi and Saratoga Springs.
“As we were working on this policy, we really did try to combine working with our parents in a parent-friendly way and to provide safety. We did wordsmith it a little bit, so it didn’t sound like we weren’t happy when visitors, especially parents, visit our schools,” added policy committee member Sarah Beeson, a Board member who represents the Alpine, Highland, and Cedar Hills area of the district.
The updated policy was unanimously approved.