PINEDALE – Students leaving the Pinedale High School (PHS) campus for independent religious study during instructional hours has been a practice for the majority of the school’s history; on Thursday night at the Sublette County School District (SCSD) No. 1 board of trustees meeting, a few board members admitted they were unaware of this practice. Board members Robin Schamber and Jennifer Hayward asked for an informational discussion at the meeting to clarify if, in fact, the district had a policy reflecting this practice.
Chairman Mark Pape and Superintendent Jay Harnack, along with SCSD No. 1 attorney Doug Mason, confirmed to the board neither the district nor PHS has a policy in writing allowing the release of students for off-campus religious study during school hours. Ben Smith, PHS principal, confirmed the high school does have a practice in place that allows students to leave the campus, for either fifth or sixth period, to study at a church of their choosing.
The problem arose when parents of high school students contacted board members regarding this practice, questioning of why their student was not allowed release. Board members were caught unawares.
For the complete article see the 09-17-2013 issue.
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