The mission of the Rockwood School District, as approved by the Board of Education, is to do whatever it takes to ensure all students realize their potential.
The core values of the district, as approved by the Rockwood Board of Education, include finding joy in our work and believing in kindness and mutual respect for all; being guided by strong character, ethics and integrity; making our schools warm, welcoming places where children, staff and families thrive; and honoring differences as we provide equal access for all learners.
It is the policy of the Rockwood Board of Education to maintain a learning environment that is free from harassment because of an individual's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. It is a violation of Board Policy 2130 for any student, teacher, administrator or other school personnel, including members of the Board of Education, to harass or unlawfully discriminate against a student regarding the individual's race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Board Policy 0340 sets forth the Rockwood Board's Code of Ethics and provides, among other things, that members of the Board of Education will support the Board once a legal decision has been made by majority vote, avoid inappropriate or disparaging remarks, in or out of Board meetings, about other Board members or their opinions, and avoid any comments which may be interpreted as undermining the administration of the district.
On Aug. 10, the Board of Education, including Director Clark, participated in a workshop where we discussed, among other things, the impact that the Board's actions have on the district's Annual Performance Report and how important it is that we work together as a team to further the district's mission and vision to ensure all students realize their potential.
On Aug. 23, 2022, Ms. Jessica Laurent Clark, a Board of Education member, spoke at a meeting (not affiliated or sponsored by the district) where she identified herself as a newly elected Board member. At this speaking engagement, she made disparaging comments about transgender individuals, the LGBTQ+ community and individuals with disabilities.
The statements of Ms. Clark are inconsistent with the vision, mission and core values of the district and Board of Education policies. In addition, they are inconsistent with our Educational Equity Resolution. Given her position as a Board of Education member and the identification of herself as a Board member, the media coverage and sharing of Ms. Clark's statements have brought unwanted and negative public attention to the district, including our students, families, staff and administration.
The district has more than 20,000 students who rely on us to set an example of civility and inclusion. We also have more than 4,000 employees who rely on us as well. These educators and support staff are committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment for all students. Ms. Clark's comments have not only adversely impacted her effectiveness as a Board of Education member, they have undermined the orderly governance of the district, staff morale and the reputation of the district among its parent and student community.
The Rockwood Board of Education does not tolerate or condone hurtful and offensive language regarding disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; and the Rockwood Board of Education reaffirms its commitment to creating an environment free of harassment or discrimination.
Jaime Bayes, President
Lynne Midyett, Vice President
Izzy Imig, Director
Keith Kinder, Director
Randy Miller, Director
Tamara Jo Rhomberg, Director