School District Still Working On Student Interview Policy
The Natrona County School District is still considering how to handle times when police need to interview students and parents may not be immediately available.
Two weeks ago, the board of trustees discussed revising its policy about law enforcement officers interviewing students on school property, and giving principals more latitude in that process.
The proposal outraged many parents on social media sites, saying the district should not have that power.
Monday, one parent said she wants the board and the city law enforcement agencies to do the right thing.
"I do think (parental presence) needs to be there, and I also think it probably needs to be looked at on a city level as well so that way cops won't expect the principals let them go ahead," Kat Lutnes said.
Two weeks ago, trustee Dana Howie said an adult must be present when a law enforcement officer needs to interview a student, and ideally that adult would be a parent or guardian.
Usually if a law enforcement officer comes to the school to talk to a student, the principal will notify the parent immediately, Howie said. "If (the principal) can't get hold of them or if they have to wait a really long time, then sometimes the principal may need to say, 'Okay, I'll be the designee,'" Howie said.
The key is if the parent is reasonably available, she added.
But Lutnes and others said that wasn't good enough.
The board had intended to vote on the changes Monday, but the district's attorney, Kathleen Dixon, was out of town.
Board Chairman Dave Applegate said he could not comment on the specifics of the proposal because Dixon was absent, but he acknowledged the public's views.
"We've received input on the policy, and we're waiting for our attorney to return to town so we can get some clarification on obligations that we have and that need to be incorporated into the policy," Applegate said.
The district will consider the proposal at a later date.