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Language of politics off limits in Re-1 Need for neutrality cited in withholding comment
Glenwood Springs Post-Independent October 20, 2002
By Carrie Click, Staff Writer

Amendment 31 may be about English-only learning, but its implications make some school
administrators extremely careful about discussing it.
On one hand, Garfield School District Re-2 superintendent Gary Pack is unabashedly vocal in
opposing the amendment.
“Amendment 31 suggests that every child learns at the same rate and in the same way,” Pack said.
“But I have serious doubts that in nine months of English immersion, our non-English speakers will
learn enough English to function at state education levels.”
On the other hand, Roaring Fork School District Re-1 superintendent Fred Wall is leery about
commenting on Amendment 31.
“School districts have a very difficult position regarding election issues and teachers need to remain
neutral while they’re working,” he said. “We also have a policy that does not allow teachers to give
positions on political issues. And we don’t allow our students to be interviewed unless they have
parental permission. They’re minors.”
However, Wall said that principals and teachers could discuss their personal position regarding
Amendment 31 after school hours.
Even though Roaring Fork School District has strict policies regarding discussing political agendas,
the school board voted at a recent public meeting to oppose Amendment 31.
Garfield School District Re-2, which doesn’t have the same restrictions, voted to oppose the
amendment as well.
Glenwood Springs High School principal Mike Wells reiterated Wall’s comments.
“Regarding Amendment 31, I’m not allowed to take a stand,” he said. “The school needs to remain
neutral. I’d be violating fair election laws if I took a stand.”
Roaring Fork assistant superintendent Judy Haptonstall wasn’t willing to discuss the amendment
either, and didn’t want to involve students in any discussion about it.
“We like to keep the kids out of the political thing,” she said. “We like to focus on learning.”

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