The Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 amended a policy on student organizations at its Tuesday work session and board meeting, but said the change wouldn’t disband the group known as the “Lunch Bunch.”
The board voted unanimously to remove the line “Lunch period is considered non-instructional time” from district policy JJA-2 concerning student organizations.
Board Member Tammy Hooten insisted that the policy change was to adhere to Colorado Association of School Boards’ recommended language, and “keeps us in line with the federal regulation and legal guidelines regarding the Equal Access Act.”
Board President Sherri Wright said the change also will align the policy with the wording used by other school districts.
Community members previously have addressed the board about a student-led LGBTQ+ lunchtime club which meets once a week at the middle school, and has been referred to as the “Rainbow Club” and the “Lunch Bunch.” Like other topics in the school district, the group has drawn polarized opinions from parents and community members.
Many considered the student organization policy change in question to be a board response to the group, although in Tuesday’s meeting, the board didn’t refer to the group by name.
“All we are doing is conforming our policy to meet CASB,” Wright said.
She and Wright clarified that the policy change wouldn’t dissolve the lunchtime group.
“The groups that are already meeting will continue to meet for the rest of the year, and then whoever is on the next board makes the decisions on how they deal with it,” Wright said.
Wright said that the board doesn’t have the power to dissolve the group.
“I just think the principals need to have that clear direction to help them have those parent conversations,” Hooten said.