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October 19, 2010 > Hayward Unified School District board meeting report

Hayward Unified School District board meeting report

Board passes Disability History Month resolution and discusses Code of Conduct for members

By Robin Michel

The October 13 Hayward Unified School Board meeting celebrated Hayward schools that met all their California Academic Performance Index (API) growth targets under the Accountability Progress Report (APR) by presenting the principals or representatives from the schools with certificates. The schools recognized for making their growth targets were: Burbank, East Avenue, Eldridge, Glassbrook, Harder, Park, Schafer, and Tyrell elementary schools; Cesar Chavez and Winton middle schools; and Hayward and Tennyson high schools. Also recognized were Southgate Elementary School and Martin Luther King Middle School, who not only met all of their California API growth targets, but also made their Federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets. Board President Frumkin commended everyone saying, "We've had challenges [but] this is the result of your collective hard work." He referenced parents, teachers, administrators, classified staff, everyone, adding, "...we are Hayward Unified."

The meeting continued with more mundane business matters, such as approving minutes and approving personnel reports and pay warrants, but then took a moving and inspiring turn when the Board discussed adopting Resolution #1011-09 to join with the California State Board of Education to proclaim the second week of October as Disability History Week.

In support of the Resolution, current and former Hayward students with disabilities addressed the Board. One young woman in a wheelchair, Damary Busto, was accompanied by her brother who read her statement for her. According to her brother, Busto, a member of the Disability Action Network for Youth at Community Resources for Independent Living (CRIL), would like to see Disability History taught in schools because it is important for students to learn about people with disabilities, so they can treat 'us' the same as others without disabilities.

"My experience at Hayward High was OK," read her brother from the prepared statement, "but it could have been better if they had taught Disability History. Some students don't know how to treat us and they hurt us by looking at us different or calling us names. We all should be treated equally because we all are humans. Thank you."

Others, including a teacher, spoke about how little is currently taught in schools about the history of the disability rights movement that began in the 1970s to fight for the civil rights and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. It is believed that misunderstandings leading to discrimination and mistreatment will be reduced by including this important piece of history in the curriculum, as well as shed light on this important civil rights struggle that is still being fought.

Board members thanked CRIL Community Organizer Dolores Tejada for her work on behalf of people with disabilities, and bringing this to their attention. Although a statewide resolution regarding Disabilities History Week has passed, Ms. Tejada said that if HUSD passed the Resolution, they would be one of only four or five districts statewide to do so. In order to increase awareness and understanding and the resolution's purpose, she requested a reading of the Resolution. A few of the facts mentioned were:

-People with disabilities are the largest minority group in the United States, including 6 million individuals living in California.

-California is home to the largest number of individuals with disabilities, who account for more than twenty percent of the state's total population.

-California public schools have more than 678,105 students in grades K through 12 who have some type of disability.

The Board also began the first reading of Board Bylaws pertaining to the Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest. Included was a Code of Conduct adopted by the Illinois Association of School Boards for Board members to discuss and consider. Attached to the Code of Conduct was a Memorandum from Board Members Jesus Armas and Sheila Sims, which stated:

"The conduct of each Board member reflects not only upon the Board as a whole, but also upon Hayward Unified School District as a public institution. In light of the comments expressed at the September 22 meeting, we believe it is critically important that the Board reassure the community that we will conduct the public's business in a manner that reflects positively upon the school district."

They recommended that the Board review the Code, revise as appropriate, and direct staff to place a Code of Conduct on the October 27 agenda for adoption.

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