Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Tracie Mitchell
Staff Writer 

Task force to create policy for employees to possess firearms on campus

TEN SLEEP – During the Ten Sleep School Board meeting Monday evening the board was informed by Ten Sleep School Superintendent Jimmy Phelps he wants to create a task force to create a policy pursuant to Wyoming statute 21-3-132. The statute gives school boards the option to adopt rules and regulations allowing employees to possess firearms on campus.

 

November 15, 2017



TEN SLEEP – During the Ten Sleep School Board meeting Monday evening the board was informed by Ten Sleep School Superintendent Jimmy Phelps he wants to create a task force to create a policy pursuant to Wyoming statute 21-3-132. The statute gives school boards the option to adopt rules and regulations allowing employees to possess firearms on campus.

“Last month we had Sheriff [Steve] Rakness here, we had public comment, and I would like to create a task force to actually come up with a policy to present to you. I have asked for volunteers among the staff and have around seven staff members who have volunteered and spoke to three parents that are going to be on the committee. So we have 10 that have committed to be on the task force,” Phelps said. He also stated that Ten Sleep School Administrative Assistant Neysha Lyman has downloaded several policies from other states that have a similar type of statute that Wyoming has for reference.

Ten Sleep School Board member Terril Mills stated that he felt that creating a task force and a policy was a good step to take.

The board also listened to two new policies proposed by a concerned parent.

Phelps explained to the board that he had been talking with Ten Sleep parent Mandy Lowry about a proposed sexual harassment policy for staff and students. He went on to explain that the school at this time does not have a policy and that he had obtained a copy of Washakie County School District No. 1’s policy for reference. “Not asking for a first reading on it yet, I’m just informing you that this is something that we are looking at,” he said.

Lowry stated, “I am still amazed that we don’t have one here at the school when every organization from the presidency down to Cub Scouts has a sexual harassment clause. If you don’t protect yourselves, your staff or your students then it’s just a lawsuit waiting to happen and you need to be protected as well as your students and your staff.”

A second proposed policy regarding chaperones for school-sponsored activities was also discussed. Phelps explained he and Lowry had discussed this policy and while they agreed on many aspects, they disagreed on whether the policy should be for all school-sponsored activities requiring the necessity to leave the campus of for just out of district school-sponsored activities. The proposed policy would require, if both male and female students were attending that both male and female chaperones be required. Phelps felt that the policy should be for out of district activities and Lowry felt that the policy should be for all school-sponsored activities.

“We have some classes that, high school classes that may go down to Dirty Sally’s for one reason or another or somewhere else in town and they felt that it shouldn’t be necessary. I think that Ms. Lowry is asking that if there are both male and female students that there should be a male and female sponsor,” Phelps said.

Lowry stated that for the protection of the teachers and students, for a variety of reasons, sexual harassment and injury for example a blanket policy should be put in effect. “I think it’s very inappropriate for a teenage girl to walk around town or go on a field trip with a male teacher as well as a male student. I think that’s very inappropriate. The proposed policy here states for out of district stuff and that’s what they brought to the staff and talked over with the staff but they did not like the fact that we asked for it to be in town stuff too. For me you are just as vulnerable doing in town stuff as well as out of district stuff. I know that the staff is OK with the out of district stuff but we would like to see something put in place for in town stuff as well. You should be protecting your kids as well as yourself in all situations,” Lowry said. “It just takes once and you are in trouble, it’s a lawsuit waiting to happen,” she added.

Lowry also questioned whether or not parents were required to sign permission slips before students leave the campus.

Lyman stated that students are sent home with a master permission slip at the beginning of the year. Upon which Lowry stated that parents are to be notified before students leave the campus and that rule had not been followed.

 
 

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