It's worth checking out how schools are equipped to host speakers in their schools, especially as everyone watched the predatory nature of Narconon in California, and it's subsequent banning in several school districts. How can this be prevented from happening again, and in fact, is the news spreading?
The Boston Public Schools are well-equipped with a policy in determining who should or should not be allowed to come into the school, as this Superintendent's Memo uses Narconon as an example of a group that's been prohibited from making presentations at schools. (See #2 d. below)
Superintendent's Circulars by Department / Number
( http://boston.k12.ma.us/dept/docs/SUP-7.doc )
Superintendent's CircularSchool Year 2004-2005 NUMBER:SUP-7DATE:September 1, 2004
NON-SCHOOL PERSONNEL ADDRESSING STUDENTS
IN SCHOOL BUILDINGS AND CLASSROOMS
Traditionally, students in the Boston Public Schools have benefited from individuals of the business, cultural, educational and social service agencies and other organizations who have come into the schools on a one-time basis to share their knowledge, skills and technical assistance.
Instructional and counseling programs can be supplemented and enriched by the use of such one-time speakers, performers and recognized specialists from outside agencies and organizations. The policy was adopted by the School Committee on March 12, 1985.
The Superintendent designates Headmasters and Principals as his agents in authorizing non-school personnel to come into schools. They are given the authority and responsibility at the school level to exercise their professional judgment in selecting and/or authorizing individuals to address students in their schools. Headmasters/ Principals must adhere to the following guidelines when exercising this authority:
1. Ensure that all teachers obtain prior written approval from the Headmasters/ Principals before inviting non-school personnel to address students. The teachers must submit a Non-School Personnel Request Form to the Headmaster/Principal. A copy of this form is attached to this memorandum. These forms must be kept on file in the school office.
Requests do not have to be made for individuals who are working in the schools in an official and ongoing basis established through formal partnership or contractual arrangement with the schools (for example: Boston Partners in Education, tutors, college/University student teachers/interns, business and cultural agency personnel working on special collaborative projects).
2. Headmasters/Principals must review these requests with reference to the following criteria:
a. Does the proposed topic/presentation relate to the curriculum objectives?
b. Does the proposed topic/presentation relate to the lesson/unit being taught?
c. Does the background of the presenter qualify him/her for suitable presentations to students?
d. Has the individual/organization been prohibited from making presentations in the schools (e.g. Narconon)?
3. Headmasters/Principals must be sensitive to controversial issues presented by non-school personnel and provide the opportunity for the presentation of differing viewpoints.
Please refer also to Superintendent's Circular: Volunteers in Schools. Superintendent Thomas W. Payzant
Attachment: Non-School Personnel Request Form
BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS NON-SCHOOL PERSONNEL REQUEST
Date of Request:________________________
From: _____________________________________ School ____________________
To: _______________________________________ (Headmaster/Principal)
I request permission to invite ______________________________________________ (Name/s)
From _______________________________________________________________ (Organization/Agency)
He/she will be present on ______________________ From _____________________ (Date) (Time/Period)
in __________________________________ (Room, Auditorium)
Topic or nature of presentation: ____________________________________________
Grade (s) ____________________ Number of students _______________________
Teacher ____________________________ (Signature)
APPROVED 0 NOT APPROVED 0
(If Not Approved, please state reason):_______________________________________
Headmaster/Principal ___________________________ Date ________________ (Signature)
1 copy to School file (original) 1 copy to Teacher making request