The Manhattan-Ogden Board of Education made its’ stance on hazing clear at Wednesday night’s board meeting. Superintendent Dr. Bob Shannon presented a new hazing policy to the board which would make the district safer for students and also prevent future lawsuits against the district. Shannon spoke passionately against hazing, and said introducing the hazing policy is merely a preventative measure. No recent hazing has taken place in the district.
“From time to time there are unfortunate events on college campuses or high schools across the country. Sometimes someone gets injured, sometimes someone loses their life. No one wants that,” Shannon said. The board unanimously voted for the new hazing policy. Shannon informed the board that bullying policies do not cover hazing, because technically the acts of hazing and bullying are different.
The board also had a special visit from Manhattan Public Works Director Rob Ott. He spoke about an issue which will appear on Manhattan’s ballot in November. The roads in Manhattan are in need of serious repair, and a steering committee wants to ensure improving the routes to USD 383 schools is made a priority. While Ott did not specifically provide the verbage that will appear on the ballot, he suggested an increase in sales tax might be included.
In new business, the board approved a bid to Riley Construction of Wamego in the amount of $82,000. When Manhattan High was renovated, the installation of new panelling on the old portion of the building has left a place for birds to climb in and make a nesting ground. The area around the front of the high school has bird waste around it, and the panelling needs fixed.
A supporter of the ReImage MHS movement made remarks during the public comment portion of the meeting, and the board also heard from a local teacher who does not support the transgender restroom movement.