When high school students at Walden III have questions about a particular topic, they find an authority to provide answers and hold a town-hall type meeting during their regularly scheduled home group time where everyone can participate.
A few weeks ago, Walden Principal Robert Kreil suggested students contact Racine Unified administration about attending a town hall to answer student questions about the referendum.
“Mr. Kreil had been getting a lot of questions from students about the referendum, so they asked for the opportunity to talk to someone from the administration,” District spokesperson Stacy Tapp said. “This took place during home group so students did not miss class.”
Chief of Schools Dr. Eric Gallien and Tapp attended the meeting, and Tapp said students asked good questions.
“They had facts and figures to back their questions,” she added. “Clearly they had done their homework.”
Some adults – most of them who oppose the referendum – from throughout the Unified community participated this week in a number of conversations on social media lambasting the town hall meeting and accusing District personnel of politicking.
“Racine Unified administration should not be pulling students out of classes during the school day to discuss the coming referendum,” Caledonia Trustee Ed Willing posted.
But Tapp said there wasn’t a presentation given; students asked questions and she and Gallien answered them.
“We were not advocating one way or the other,” she said. “We do have an obligation to answer with facts, and clearly the students were interested in how the referendum works and what will be done with the money.”