Now is the time for the Helena School Board to show leadership. No matter your position on the current health curriculum, the passing of this version:
- Alienates, polarizes and breaches the trust of a significant number of constituents.
- Divides the district.
- Diverts attention and needed energy and resources from more core educational issues like dropout rates, proficiency percentages, etc.
- Will likely negatively impact future voter financial support for the district.
- Defines this board and limits future effectiveness.
What can they do? Commission a truly inclusive and diverse committee to explore better options for the controversial sections. Design a development, communication and review process that is transparent and results in buy-in and synergy. Utilize effective facilitation (by a truly independent third party) that will challenge opposing viewpoints to provide solutions rather than protect ideological beliefs and agendas. Give adequate time and opportunity for real dialog, research from different angles, etc.
Societal issues caused by poor sexual choices are real. With people engaged and passionate, this board has a real opportunity to bring all stakeholders together for out-of-the-box thinking leading to better solutions — local solutions with buy-in.