Home Education Testimony to Highline School Board – ThoughtExchange – 3/1/23

Testimony to Highline School Board – ThoughtExchange – 3/1/23

Below is a testimony to the Highline School Board from 3/1/23:

School Board Testimonial by Katie Kresly – March 1, 2023 

Hello Highline School Directors. Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you.

I have three thoughts to share with you about your Strategic Goals, Student Health Clinics, and the ThoughtExchange Privacy Policy.

First, schools are here to provide Academic Education for students. By teaching discipline and critical thinking, and holding students accountable for their own education, schools can create life-long habits and a foundation for success.  

One of your Strategic Goals is “Student Learning: Providing equitable academic experiences and opportunities that stretch, engage, and challenge students.”

Please consider making “Academics” your highest priority by renaming the Goal: “Student Academics: Providing equitable learning experiences….”

Second, I am extremely concerned about the expansive “health services” that are now available to ALL students in the Highline District, many without parental consent or awareness. Services through HealthPoint Clinics include gender-affirming care, mental health, covid-19 shots, substance abuse, medication management, and reproductive care. [Here is the Registration Packet, including five questions about sex and gender]

If I had children in the Highline District, I would expect to be informed about which healthcare services they were receiving at school, especially pre-and early teens. Are HealthPoint professionals encouraging the students to share anything with their parents or guardians? 

[Additional information: HealthPoint employs at least six “gender-affirming doctors .” HealthPoint Program Design…. For 2022-2023, residents participated in the Gender Affirming Care and Cardiometabolic Project ECHO”]

Finally, I participated in all of the ThoughtExchange forums regarding the new Strategic Plan in October 2022 and February 2023.  

In October 2022, one of my questions on “comprehensive sex education” was immediately dismissed by Dr. Duran, then deleted by the district moderator. I was told that it was not relevant to the topic. This surprised me because I thought the district wanted candid information and community feedback so they could make informed decisions. I mentioned my deleted comment to two of the directors. (You seemed surprised as well.)

This February, I reviewed the ThoughtExchange Privacy Policy. AT BEST – it is highly contradictory!  

In one paragraph, it advises participants to be cautious in their comments because they could be recognized and may experience “embarrassment or negative consequences.” 

Later, it says that the moderator can REMOVE comments for ANY reason they choose (if comments are rude, hurtful, or “in the best interest of the leader or other participants”).  

Finally, it pleads for participants to provide “completely candid responses – even (and maybe especially) when they are controversial or uncomfortable. We want you to feel free to speak freely and honestly, without fear of being shamed or facing negative repercussions for doing so.”

My question for you as Highline Directors: With such a privacy policy, how can your staff and community actually feel “safe” giving honest feedback, especially if they disagree with the way things are being managed? How can they help you create meaningful goals if their livelihood is at risk or relationships endangered?

In your creation of the next Strategic Plan, I kindly ask that you consider ALL voices, especially those that you may disagree with, in the best interest of ALL of the students.

Thank you.

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