BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) – Hundreds of parents in the Bettendorf Community School District are calling for the superintendent to be removed.
Organizers say 1,200 parents in and around Bettendorf signed a petition submitted to the school board on June 23. He called for a vote of no confidence against Dr. Michelle Morse, the superintendent.
Student misconduct and a lack of transparency are among the issues that some community members say require new leadership.
“We want to see change, and the only way to really have an impact is to go all the way to the top,” Melissa Zumdome said. “When you deal with a school district, you look at who is in charge of overseeing the school, and that’s the superintendent.”
A Bettendorf grandparent, Cyndi Dierks, felt that after several faculty resignations, the administration needed to change.
“We want what’s right for our kids, we want our community to shine again… It’s falling,” Dierks said. “We want a superintendent who takes everything seriously and tackles violence in schools.”
The next step and on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting would be for council to determine the validity of the petition. According to Iowa law, the petition must receive signatures from at least 500 eligible voters in the district.
Zumdome said she wanted more transparency in the classroom because she disagreed with the program.
“We just want to know what our kids are learning,” Zumdome said. “It just seemed like there would be a wall going up, it would be very hard to get to the truth. When your kids come home and tell you one thing, you’re like, ‘Well, I don’t. didn’t know about that.”
Another sticking point for parents is that the district needs a plan to address misconduct after a school year plagued by student fights.
“These kids can’t run down the hall creating chaos,” Dierks said. “I understand there are underprivileged children, but are we going to sacrifice the masses for a few bad seeds?”
At 10:02 p.m. Wednesday, a school district spokesperson provided TV6 News with a joint statement from superintendent and school board president Rebecca Eastman.
“Despite the perception of some, Bettendorf continues to be a very popular area. The majority of our vacancies are filled and have been filled by highly qualified, experienced and passionate educators, while other districts continue to seek to fill many vacancies.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday evening, the teachers’ union, the Bettendorf Education Association, did not respond to TV6’s request for comment.
According to Iowa Code 279.8b, after a school district determines that a petition is valid, it must include the matter on the agenda for its next regular meeting or at a meeting within 30 days of receipt.
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