No sponsorship as such, club is meant to give a place to talk

Posted 8/4/21

The club would not be district sponsored, the only clubs that have district sponsorship being academic or athletic, per Superintendent came up with or was it the students?” Board member Ryan …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

No sponsorship as such, club is meant to give a place to talk


The club would not be district sponsored, the only clubs that have district sponsorship being academic or athletic, per Superintendent came up with or was it the students?” Board member Ryan Lewallen asked when it came time for questions. Kobs clarified to the Board that it wasn’t solely her idea.

“There were multiple students that came to us this year with issues,” she said of the Stanley-Boyd district, while avoiding names. Kobs said in addition that the English department had a strong connection to the counseling department as such so that it remained aware of these things. The high school English teacher also shared that only one in three students who identify as LGBTQIA+ felt their home Stanley-Boyd High School teacher Samantha Kobs attended the July board meeting to propose the creation of a new club aimed to support youth who see themselves as LGBTQIA+ and a club meant to build a support network within the high school.

The new club, to be known as the GSA or Gay Straight Alliance, is meant to provide a place where students can talk about things they might not prefer to discuss with parents and also build friendships as well. Youth who see themselves as LGBTQIA+ often have higher thoughts of suicide and generally poorer mental health as a result. “Only academic or athletic,” Koenig said in response to an email seeking clarification on which groups had district sponsorship.

The idea for the club was presented, meanwhile by Stanley-Boyd English teacher Samantha Kobs, who said that students seeing themselves as LGBTQ had several challenges and that the club was a way to “affirm” them, “which is just another word for support,” she said.

“Was this something that you yourself

Jeff Koenig.


FROM PAGE 7 environment was supportive. That’s where the GSA Club came in.

Envisioned as a place where youth could build friendships and a support network, the GSA club would meet once a month, Kobs said. She also said in addition that the club would be helpful both for students who joined it as well as the surrounding atmosphere. Koenig had more to add on clubs in general at Stanley-Boyd and student involvement.

“It’s not so much to go out and recruit people, but providing groups that students want to be a part of,” he said. As an example, Koenig shared that the Drama club was an extension of the English department, though again only academic and athletic clubs have official district support.

Following upon some more questions from the board that Kobs answered in turn, the Stanley-Boyd School Board voted to approve recognizing the club, with motion by Denise Hoffstatter seconded by Lance Carlson as such, the vote passing unanimously with board member Jeff Boie absent. In other district news, meanwhile, there was plenty to report.

“There’s still a federal rule in place that requires masks on buses,” Koenig shared of the school year and mass transit regulations. The rule remains in effect until September 13, it was reported. Going back to school after last year’s hybrid model would be a challenge, but the district was full steam ahead, with classes beginning on August 19, per an early start calendar approved in February.

Also reported on at the July 26 school board meeting was the district’s annual Seclusion and Restraint Report by Pupil Services Director Krystle Bacha.

“For seclusion there’s not much to report,” Bacha said of the district last year. More specifically, there were zero seclusions or students involved in these.

As to restraints, meanwhile, the case was slightly different. With seven restraints total involving four students, three of the students involved were with disabilities, all at the elementary level with nothing to report for middle or high school.

From the seclusion and restraint report it was into SL 10 for the Standards-Based Academic Program Report.

Presented by Koenig, the Standards- Based Academic Program Report had only one major takeaway, the implementation of an enrollment cap on special needs students from outside the district, instituted at the January meeting. From there President Bob Geist sought a motion.

“So we need a motion to find the district in compliance, not in compliance, or in compliance with exceptions,” Geist said of SL 10. With a motion by board member Chad Verbeten that was seconded by Lewallen, the district was found to be in compliance with SL 10—then it was into SL 15 and pool matters. Contained in the online meeting agenda, SL 15 dealt with the school pool and fitness center, with a revelation of sorts.

“When we shut that pool down, we save a lot of electricity,” Superintendent Koenig shared of the pool built at the turn of the twentieth century and recently repaired. “A LOT.” There had been some minor supervision issues in the past fiscal year, but these were addressed, and the board had been informed of the issues. In addition, a Red Cross Swimming Curriculum was in use at the pool. With a motion by Hoffstatter that was seconded by board member Toni Seidl, the board voted to find the district in compliance with SL 15, Community Pool and Fitness Center Report.

Following upon this , a motion was made by Lewallen and seconded by Seidl to approve the consent agenda. With the exception of Verbeten (who abstained), all board members present voted to approve the consent agenda.

Last but not least, the school will be putting some items up for surplus auction soon, including a used bus, chairs, and laminators. Keep an eye out if interested for the online posting.

With no objections voiced, the meeting was soon adjourned.

Mnglish teacher Samantha Kobs listens to Superintendent Jeff Koenig speak during the July board meeting. Kobs spoke asking the school board to recognize a new club called the Gay Straight Alliance, or GSA.