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Florence-Carlton board tables decision on school club policy

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Posted at 10:13 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 11:33:54-04

FLORENCE — The Florence-Carlton school board left their last meeting on June 8 with some unfinished business regarding the rules surrounding school clubs after concerns were raised regarding an LGBTQ group.

The board opted to hold a special board meeting Monday night to take their final vote on the policy that’s turned into a controversy, but by the end of the nearly five-hour meeting, the board merely voted to table the issue once more.

The root of the controversy lies in formal versus informal student clubs.

The policy in question doesn’t specifically mention LGBTQ groups, but the Gay Straight Alliance has become the focal point of the issue as it’s currently considered an informal club, meaning parents don’t have to sign off on sending their kids to club meetings during the school day.

Gay Straight Alliance, a student-led group began at Florence-Carlton at the start of the school year.

Monday night, with their attorney present, the school board spent much of the evening deliberating the policy -- whether parents should sign permission slips for clubs, whether informal clubs should even exist, what constitutes a club, etc.

One attendee of the meeting made his opinion clear, hoping the board would require more parental consent for participation in clubs.

“They can't go ahead and hide things behind the parents' backs,” said Lolo resident Warren Kingdon. “As parents, I think we need to know for the good of our children and for the good of the community too. Why hide these things? If the school has to hide things, something is wrong.”

One board member was absent from the meeting, so by tabling the issue, the board hopes to have an odd number of members to help make a final decision at their next special board meeting.