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Cobre School board tables Facebook issue

By Margaret Hopper

The Cobre school board held its November 12 meeting at Snell Middle School and opened at 7 p.m. Member Frank Gomez was not present, and in the place of Interim Superintendent George Peru, Assistant Superintendent Jose Carrillo sat with the board. No closed session preceded the regular meeting.

Looking at the minutes from the October 28 meeting, Fran Kelly, member, noted some corrections regarding a thanks from Am Bank’s Mike Trujillo and another simple item or two. With those changes, the minutes were approved as amended.

The Facebook issue was on the agenda, but no policy is yet in place and that item was tabled again to the next meeting. A teacher said he would continue researching and checking websites for more information on how students could use it. Board member Ralph "Toy" Sepulveda restated his position that Faceook’s ability to open up a lot of areas to the public made it important that a good policy be in place before any use could be approved.

Middle-School instructor Paul Osuna presented a short visual for the board based on photos of staff and activities that students were involved in. Clips included the Science Olympiad, volleyball and football teams, computer literacy, the middle school band and similar groups.

The board voted on the resolution and proclamation of the election to be held next February. In looking over the papers, Carrillo pointed out a very minor change to be made at the end of the resolution and members passed it unanimously with the correction.

A request for use of facilities for the Cobre Youth Wrestling Program by Ruben Udero was approved, as was the use of facilities by Raul Villanueva, Sheriff, for the DARE program.  This is set for November 15 at 5:30 in the Fine Arts Auditorium. Those who have completed the DARE program will receive certificates.

Funds transfers came up again and the board voted its approval of the adjustments.
The facts of the adjustments were not given publicly. After the meeting, Carrillo said he would make them available for this report, but there were a number of them and they were needed to fund additional staff hired. He would see that the information was given shortly. This report should follow in a few days.

In the absence of George Peru, no superintendent’s report was given. Student representative Hampton Burnette updated the board on some student activities in sports. He noted that in the cross-country events at Albuquerque the Cobre girls came out fifth and boys placed eighth. Isa Lee made All-State in the event. The girls’ volleyball team was now in a tournament and students were waiting to see how this turned out.

In the Public Input section, several requests and announcements were made. Student Jordan Torres had written a proposal for board members to look over. She asked permission to host a basketball tourney some time in January, which would require the use of the gym and concessions stand. The teams would be local groups of various ages and funds raised would go the American Cancer Society.

Board members said Torres should start working with Principal Benavidez and others in the high school. Title IX would have to be addressed to avoid certain issues, but when the plan was complete, they would like to know about it.

An audit by Mark Stone had been completed and after the report was signed and presented at state, the figures could be presented to the public.

Nine Cobre teachers from elementary to high school had participated in a dual-language project at Santa Fe. Carrillo said the work was well received and staff should be implementing the information in their work.

One parent asked to meet with the board over "an altercation that happened in the dressing room" between her daughter and another student. According to the mother, the policy involved an automatic five- to ten-day suspension for those involved. Her daughter was given a penalty, but she learned the other student didn’t receive one. If policy called for measures, they should be enforced.

Cordova told her she needed to start with the principal and the superintendent, but if they didn’t answer her questions to her satisfaction, she could then ask the board for a hearing. She said she had already talked with Benavidez, the principal, and with Peru, the superintendent, but saw no resolution to the situation. For her daughter’s sake, she wanted to meet with the board.

She was told to meet next with the secretary and ask for a board hearing. The parent said, “I want to make things right for my daughter.” Cordova said she could expect the hearing to take place before the next board meeting, even if it was just hours before it.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 26, and the agenda should include new information about the Facebook policy now being worked on.

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