School administration to review student group policy

Liliana Castillo

Clovis schools administration has halted all student organization meetings at the high school while they review two board policies that govern student groups.

One policy dictates who can approve the creation of a club and one which chooses between allowing curricular and non-curricular clubs or only curricular clubs.

For example, French Club is a curricular club because French is taught at the school. Fellowship of Christian Athletes, however, does not have a curricular tie.

Clovis is looking at two options:

• Limited open forum, which allows all clubs that meet a list of requirements.

• Closed forum, which allows only curricular clubs.

The review began at the board’s last meeting on March 29.

Clovis High School Principal Wayne Marshall said his goal is to treat all clubs equally.

“As a school and as a district, we need to make sure we’re even-handed,” he said. “We don’t want to allow one club and not another.”

The current policy gives the superintendent the ability to approve student clubs. Superintendent Terry Myers said he is going to recommend the board have that power.

Marshall said he believes closed forum is good for a school setting.

“I really think that our clubs need to be related to things at school. We’re an educational institution,” Marshall said.

Myers said he has had a long-term interest in reviewing the two policies.

“This is happening across the country. There’s a big deal about limited versus open forums at schools,” he said. “We’re looking to see which we want.”

The administration will make a recommendation to the board at the next board meeting which will be held 5:30 p.m. April 26.

Myers said about 15 student organizations at the high school would not be allowed to meet at the school if the board chooses closed forum.

“The more neutral we are with any policy, the better,” Myers said. “The more we can stay out of controversial issues, the better our district is and the more wholesome we are the better. We want to write the policy so the district doesn’t appear to be taking sides.”

Myers said the district is defining what it wants.

“We will consider any request,” he said. “We want to be fair. We want to make sure that any policy that we implement is implemented even-handedly.”

Read how this policy change could affect one student group.