YUSD pushes back policy vote

An issue over the number of allowable visits by non-school persons to student clubs in the Yosemite Unified School District was discussed at its Board of Trustees meeting April 11, with a potential policy vote scheduled next month.

At 6:30 p.m. May 9 in the Yosemite High School cafeteria, the board could vote to adopt a policy that would allow no more than four non-school persons to attend any student club meeting at one time. Also, each individual guest could visit the club at half its meetings, usually held during the lunch hour, throughout the year.

This potential policy change follows a different proposal in March, which would have allowed six such visits each year to clubs in 7th and 8th grade, and 18 at the high school level.

That idea died during Monday’s board meeting, with no motion for a vote.

The potential changes came after a parent sent a letter of complaint to the board when the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), held a “Huddle,” or meeting, at Rivergold Elementary School in November.

Among the parent’s complaints was how the meeting violated the 1984 federal Equal Access Act, as it may have been organized and led by religious officials, not students as the act mandates. Other concerns included adults allegedly enticing students to the meeting through free pizza and soda, and how some who didn’t attend were later ostracized as outsiders.

FCA officials said those claims were false and that the group is meant to provide a positive way for students to express their religious faith. FCA also received overwhelming support during the March school board meeting, as more than 10 people, including three Rivergold students who said they organized the “Huddle,” stressed its importance to the applause of around 125 people during public comment.