The Colorado Springs School District 11 board expects to eventually vote on a set of criteria for honorary resolutions.
Board members discussed the ongoing issue Thursday at a board retreat. Board member Al Loma was absent.
Board Secretary Elaine Naleski and board member Bob Null will research resolution guidelines in other school districts and governmental agencies to come up with suggested criteria. They could present their findings in December, and the board could vote on the rules in January.
The issue arose in September at a board work session and retreat. In subsequent weeks, some board members accused others of deciding to stop a long-standing tradition of resolutions that honor minority groups, such as Black Heritage Month, Cinco de Mayo and Hispanic Heritage Month.
Other board members said no decisions were made, and the discussion was about streamlining meetings.
“We honor every person in our community every day,” not just on those occasions where a resolution is made, said board Vice President LuAnn Long. “We don’t want to leave anyone out.”
Board members said they want to continue to honor and thank employee groups. Another suggestion was a resolution honoring diversity in the district.
“I don’t want to hurt anybody and we’ve done nothing but that over the past two months,” Long said.
Approving resolutions for every group could mean more than 100 items to be read and voted on by the board over the course of a year. Proclamations, however, could be read at events without a formal vote.
Board members hope the guidelines will prevent board meetings from getting bogged down in resolutions while showing the community that they do care about diversity.
“It gets out of control,” said board member Sandra Mann.
Several people, including students and representatives from the NAACP, have spoken at recent school board meetings urging the board to continue the practice of issuing proclamations recognizing and honoring minority groups.
At Wednesday’s regular board meeting, some speakers said they had heard that D-11 officials want to replace diversity with a proclamation and remove the history of slavery from textbooks.
Regardless of possible changes, any person or group can attend school board meetings and share their thoughts on accomplishments or history during the comment period.
Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. The board approved a resolution honoring the accomplishments of Hispanic cultures on Sept. 12.
The next traditional resolution would be for Black Heritage Month in February.
Also on Thursday, board members talked about board policies, their handbook and legislative liaisons and how the board will address issues at the state level.
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