BROKEN BOW— The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) Health Standards have been under fire since the first draft of the standards was released earlier this year. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, Nebraska Senators, school districts, and individuals have spoken against the standards calling them ‘politically motivated’, ‘trying to undermine parental rights’, and ‘shocking’.
On Monday, July 19 the Broken Bow Public School Board of Education voted to send a letter to the NDE voicing concerns about the standards. Darren Tobey, Broken Bow Public Schools Superintendent, told KCNI/KBBN usually the standards that are sent out by NDE do not result in much public participation, but when you look deeper into the standards it was alarming what was being proposed.
“Once you start digging into those standards or the things they wanted us to start teaching kids, especially at a young age, it was very alarming not only to our school but a majority of the schools in the state of Nebraska, and something needed to happen,” said Tobey.
While the standards are released by the NDE, each school can elect to accept all or just parts of the standards. Tobey said the school will likely never accept to teach those topics in the school regardless of the age and it should be up to the parents to teach their kids regarding the proposed topics.
According to Tobey, the second draft of the standards will be released in August where they have been completely revamped from the first draft. He also said the tough part is finding the balance between what should the school be responsible for and what should parents be responsible for.
“We are completely on the side of we disagree with those standards, we aren’t going to implement those standards, and the board feels strongly about that as well as I do.” Toby continued,“Our world has changed over the last five years. Some of those things that we didn’t talk a lot in school are maybe going to come up a little more in the future.”
Classes for BBPS will begin on August 12 and in preparation for students returning to school, the annual community tour is back for its fourth year. Community members will have the opportunity to hear about the upcoming budget, new preschool addition, new staff members, and a potential facilities project.
The community meetings will be held on Monday, July 26 and Tuesday, July 27. The meetings on Monday will be held at 7 AM at Tumbleweed Café, noon (lunch provided) in the BBPS District Board Room, and at 5:30 PM at Bonfire. On Tuesday the meetings will be held at the City Café at 7 AM, Adams Land and Cattle at noon (lunch provided), and Fiesta Brava at 5:30 PM.
“Come out and ask any questions that you have regarding the budget, facilities, or school in general. We would love to have you.” Tobey said.