The Alpena Public Schools School Board has certainly had its share of pressure in recent weeks.
While trying to keep its annual budget, oversee the start of bond-funded renovations, and plan for the next school year, the school board heard from many parents and taxpayers asking it to take a stand on many issues, including many issues beyond its control.
Board speakers called on the board to oppose the teaching of critical race theory, a college-level academic field that suggests racism has played a disproportionate role in the development of this nation and influence still today. They asked the board to state their position on transgender students participating in school sports and using the gender-specific washroom they identify with. They asked the board of directors to take a position on mask and vaccination requirements.
APS Superintendent Dave Rabbideau told reporter Crystal Nelson for a recent story that the board, as a matter of policy, does not respond to questions asked during public comments at school board meetings – which makes sense, to ensure that the board can complete business in a timely manner. way.
Instead, Rabbideau told Nelson he planned to hold a town hall to hear residents’ concerns and answer their questions.
This is the right decision.
The neighborhood could have simply ignored the locals. After all, many of the issues the board has been pressed on in recent times will be mandated by state or federal lawmakers or court rulings, not at the local school board level.
But parents worry about their children’s schools, and taxpayers worry about how their money is being spent, and they have a right to hear explanations from their school officials.
So we applaud the board for setting the time aside for this to happen.