WILMINGTON — A group of children attending East End Elementary who are named the Kindness Ninjas were recognized Monday at the Wilmington school board meeting, along with a local business specializing in audio-visual systems.
East End counselor Brook McCoy said the Kindness Ninjas meet every Thursday during lunch, and these ninjas try to come up with innovative and fun ways to spread kindness in the school and community.
Kindness, said McCoy, is contagious and makes a difference to those around us.
Their projects include writing kindness notes and hiding them in library books; painting more than 80 peace rocks and hiding them; doing thank-you cards for school bus drivers; and selling ninja suckers during lunch and raising about $170 for the area Red Cross.
Wilmington City Schools (WCS) Athletic Director Troy Diels presented a Business Recognition Award to Bowman Technology Group, a family-owned and operated company from Wilmington.
Steve and Bobby Jo Bowman were recognized for being quick to step up and volunteer time and services for the betterment of the local schools and the Athletic Department.
Among the many improvements, said Diels, are an upgraded sound system in the Wilmington Middle School gym, an Alumni Field communications upgrade, and the installation of a projector and sound system in the district.
A parent, Sheila Pogue Krabacher, addressed the school board, saying the district and athletic department have done little to protect her transgender son or make him feel like a welcomed member. Earlier in the school year, she submitted a complaint alleging harassment, and a subsequent school investigation found two of the 11 issues substantiated.
One of those two findings relates that head wrestling coach Kelly Tolliver on Nov. 2, 2017 told Krabacher’s transgender son, who was on the wrestling team, he could not be in the locker room “because you are a girl.” In the summary report by the district’s compliance officers, they note school employees are prohibited from making offensive comments to a student based upon the student’s gender identity.
Tolliver, who has apologized, will be given a written directive concerning how he is required to address gender identity concerns with students, and also will be provided a copy of the board’s anti-harassment policy and acknowledge he understands and appreciates its provisions.
The superintendent’s written decision regarding the complaints indicates the district also has created a new multi-purpose locker room. Krabacher, believing the overall response has not been strong enough, has appealed the superintendent’s decision to the school board which has 10 days to issue a ruling. Krabacher’s son attended the board of education meeting.
In other board business Monday, members approved an out-of-state trip to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois for late April. Students in advanced placement biology, animal biology, and earth science students who meet certain requirements will travel by chartered bus.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.