D86 Resident to Make Second Appeal on Board's Controversial Movie Decision

A Hinsdale South parent has decided to take his complaint about racy movies being shown in a literature class to the Regional Superintendent of Schools.

Following District 86's decision Monday night to uphold Superintendent Nick Wahl's decision to continue showing the movies "American Beauty" and "Brokeback Mountain" in a Hinsdale South literature class, a parent who filed a complaint about the appropriateness of the movies released this statement:

On Monday night, the school board voted 5 to 2 to uphold Superintendent Wahl's decision that "policy" was followed regarding the inclusion of the controversial movies in the Film as Literature class. But the vote itself involved some controversy.
There was once again quite a bit of debate among the school board members regarding the Curriculum Objection.  Board Member Skoda introduced a motion (seconded by Board Member Barrett) that the board request Superintendent Wahl to revisit the matter and specifically determine whether the inclusion of the controversial films was consistent with, among other policies, Policy No. 6:810 (were they age-appropriate, did they serve an educational purpose, were they consistent with the curriculum and was a balanced view presented).
After extensive debate about this motion, Board President Brennan announced that the motion would be voted upon.  However, Brennan further announced that he was unilaterally amending the motion -- it would now be a motion to uphold Superintendent Wahl's decision.  The board members cast their votes (in some cases, hesitantly) 5 to 2 to uphold Wahl's decision.  *After the vote, Board Member Gallo asked Brennan (quote not exact): "Why didn't we vote on the original motion?  Don't you think it would have been better to vote on the original motion?"  Awkward silence followed.
The process looked more like Chicago politics than a healthy exercise of democracy. For reasons one can only speculate about, it seems like certain people do not want the merits of this issue to be voted upon.
I will be appealing the matter to the Regional Superintendent of Schools.

*Editor's Note: Regarding this sentence in the above statement, Board President Dennis Brennan responded to board member Kay Gallo's question that, procedurally, a motion can be amended before a vote.

Don Damon October 26, 2012 at 10:52 AM
I move that the D86 Board of Education purchase a copy of Roberts Rules of Order and keep it in the board room whenever they meet. The board’s own policy (2:220) indicates that when questions of procedure arise Roberts Rules will guide them. So when Ms. Gallo questioned their procedure on voting for an amended motion Mr. Brennan could have gotten it right. Instead the board seeming voted on … WHAT? When an amendment is made to a motion the requirement is that FIRST the amendment to the motion alone must be voted on. THEN, with the original motion now amended, a second vote is REQUIRED to vote on the amended original motion. I’ve played that part of the video several times because I was sure I had somehow missed that second vote (the first vote must have been for the amendment alone since it was the only open motion at the time). But no, the video only contains Mr. Brennan dismissing that as unnecessary. Will the D86 Board be calling a special meeting to place that second vote?


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