Mehlville weighs a district civility policy

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Emily Klein
Staff Reporter
emilyklein@callnewspapers.com

The Mehlville School District is deciding whether to implement a policy on civility that would allow the district to boot belligerent visitors from school grounds.

Mehlville’s Policy Committee went over the possible new policy in a meeting June 19. The committee, comprised of Board of Education members, administrators and teachers, recommends potential legislation for the school district, and then presents it to the board to vote on.

One policy talked about was a civility policy, which the committee tabled for the time being. However, if enacted, the policy would allow faculty to ask rowdy visitors to calm down and even remove them from the premises if they don’t comply. Committee members said that the policy is important so they have grounds to remove people from school events if they’re getting out of hand.

“If we have a situation where a parent has become disruptive and we feel like it’s a concern, at least we’ll have this in place where we can say, ‘Hey we have this policy in place, we’ll have to ask you to calm down a bit or if not, we’ll have to ask you to leave,’” said Executive Director of Human Resources Mark Catalana, who heads the committee.

Although the policy would be useful, some board members said that it would be difficult to enforce.

Without clear communication on who to refer to if a person on the property is being rowdy, it would be hard to take action. Especially when someone reporting another personal’s behavior has to report incidents to the administrator in charge of the policy at a school event, that administrator might not be obvious to someone who isn’t familiar with school staff.

“I’ve been to a lot of events, and I can’t tell you the last time they’ve been obvious to me,” said board member Tori Behlke. “What’s the point of having a policy if we don’t have a way to enforce it or address it?”

Catalana said that he would table the policy for now, until he was able to get answers to the committee’s questions.   He also said that the draft of the policy would be rewritten to address the concerns.