Well now, it appears that the Princeton (Texas) Independent School District board of trustees has stepped away from the slippery slope over which I feared it would plunge.
This is a good thing. The Princeton ISD board announced this week that it will not change fundamentally the district’s policy regarding use of public venues by special interest groups. The policy has been upgraded, according to board president Cyndi Darland, who, according to the Princeton Herald, said that administrators “made great recommendations that we approve of.”
They call it the Facility Use Policy, aka FUP. The adjustments will include some “adjustments” in the rates that groups would pay to use the venues.
The issue surfaced a few weeks ago when trustees questioned whether Princeton ISD should allow certain groups to use the venues. One group intended to rent space to celebrate its “pride” in the community’s gay community. Trustees took the issue under advisement and sent the matter to legal counsel to consider what to do about it.
I am going to presume the lawyers thought better of any notion that the district could ban anyone, or could institute an outright total ban for any group wanting to use the facilities. A PISD spokeswoman said, according to the Herald, “There will be a few rate adjustments and restrictions on certain activities that will be permitted.”
This past year, the issue of a drag show surfaced as a matter of concern. I didn’t see the show, mainly because that’s not my “thing,” if you know what I mean.
The revisions will take effect after spring break, Superintendent Don McIntyre said.
I am one red-blooded Princeton ISD taxpayer who would shudder at the notion of my school district banning anyone from using public facilities, let alone approving a total ban for all groups. These venues belong to us. Think of how Princeton ISD would tell a 4-H group, or a church group, or the Boy and Girl Scouts they couldn’t use these public venues because of resistance to, say, a “Gay Pride” event.
The school district has backed off that silly notion, to which I will offer a hearty hand clap.