Skip to content

Parent Petition Disrupts Community

In recent weeks, disgruntled Forest Hills parents, part of a group called JUST, have started a petition to remove five out of the seven Board of Education members for Forest Hills. The complaint raised among the community centers on the Board’s rules and conduct during the pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has led the school to institute some unpopular decisions, and our school board is not immune to the nationwide frustrations that are directed at school boards and administration. The FHPS school board has been ground zero for a bombardment of angry parents and complaints. Some items such as mask mandates, virtual schooling, lack of transportation, and restrictions on outside sporting events have made some parents disagree with school policy. The pandemic has also led to a nationwide shortage of workers. Because of this, the FHPS district, like many others, has found it necessary to cancel certain bus routes. There are just simply not enough bus drivers to keep all the routes running every day. The district is holding job fairs and trying to offer incentives to interest more drivers: but the shortage of drivers persists.

The three points stated on the recall petition include: bus transportation needs to be improved, the board meetings need to be livestreamed, and there is a lack of transparency from the board. The JUST parents have expressed that the district is not doing enough when it comes to getting school busses running again. The entire nation is suffering from a shortage of bus drivers, and it is not entirely the district’s fault they lack enough drivers to provide bussing. The FHPS school board hired a new communications director within the last two weeks which could resolve the issues with livestreaming meetings. When it comes to the board’s transparency with the parents, there is no substantial basis that the board is having problems communicating; they do their best to answer the questions and concerns of each individual.  Another group of parents, Support FHPS, are rallying in full support of our board members and administration while working to promote conversations, not animosity toward specific individuals.

The parent leader of the petition and JUST organization has expressed that parents of the organization have been trying to push the school to make changes in the points stated on the petition for some time. However, if people look more closely at the petition, it is only focused on transportation, livestreaming, and lack of transparency.  However, one look at the JUST organization website shows concerns with schools mainly focused on mask and vaccine mandates and other “hot topics” facing schools at the national level currently.

In order for the recall to be successful, each school board member must receive 6,922 signatures, that amount is equal to 25% of the votes cast in the school district in the last gubernatorial election. If the petition receives enough signatures, then it puts the board member up for a special election. The board member is not necessarily removed if the petition succeeds, the board member just faces a special election where anyone who wants to, can challenge the board member for their seat and the rest of their term. 

Although the JUST group is what is getting the most attention in our community, Support FHPS parents are working to stop the recall. We, as a community, need to work together to address these areas of concern. School board members work tirelessly for students to make sure that we have the best education possible, it is now our job to support the efforts of the board, regardless of employee shortages. If we can band together we will achieve, without a doubt, victory. 

6 Comments

  1. Kristen Covelle Kristen Covelle

    Thank you, Carson, for your well-written article. I can’t help appreciating the support for the Board at the end. ❤️

  2. Ingrid Fournier Ingrid Fournier

    Excellent article. Very well written. Kudos to the writer.

  3. Kathleen Devarenne Kathleen Devarenne

    Well written! Bravo!

  4. Jayme Buchanan Jayme Buchanan

    Nice job Carson!

  5. Colleen Fuelling Colleen Fuelling

    Great article, Carson!

  6. Kristen Kristen

    Great article!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *