HPISD Names ‘Reconsideration Committee’

HPISD superintendent Dawson Orr and HPHS principal Walter Kelly jointly released a statement to name the members of the “reconsideration committee” this afternoon. The committee will review The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, which is begin taught in English II classes this year. The committee is as follows:

  • Lauren Bailey, HPHS teacher
  • Jill Bellomy, HPMS librarian
  • Martha Coleman, parent
  • Charlene Gowdey, parent
  • Lisa Ham, HPISD instructional technology director and library services coordinator
  • Sheila Holmes, parent
  • Tavia Hunt, parent
  • Amy Liu, HPHS student
  • Micah Lyles, HPHS lead counselor
  • Holly Philbin, parent
  • Chris Walters, HPHS student
  • Tara Wilcox, HPHS teacher

“We value the recent conversations we have had with students, parents, employees, alumni and community members regarding literature selection for students, and we respect all viewpoints in this matter,” Orr and Kelly said in the statement.

All committee members will read the material and discuss “whether it conforms to the principles of selection” named in the EFA (LOCAL) policy. Meetings will not be open to the public, but once they create a written report, that material will be made available.

HPISD staff has confirmed there is no formal timeline yet for the meetings.

6 thoughts on “HPISD Names ‘Reconsideration Committee’

  • November 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    So . . . I believe I see only one adult male on this committee, and zero male parents. (Not sure if Chirs Walters is a male or a female student.) On a committee so large, why such a gender imbalance? I know for a fact that male parents sought to be on the committee. If the gender balance were skewed the other direction, people would be freaking out.

  • November 4, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I see about six qualified people on this list, at least one wacky religious fanatic who is so wealthy she is not in touch with reality, and no one who knows enough about wine to make a decent selection for Book Club. Way to go, Dr. Orr.

  • November 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    @Z – Good question. Why aren’t there more men on this committee? I think that is odd.

  • November 4, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    HPMom – good one 🙂

  • November 4, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I have a theory: Not many adult males would want to read this book, much less discuss it. They wouldn’t put their businesses or law firms on the line or be associated with this issue. This really is a colossal waste of time and energy. It’s just one book, not a comprehensive referendum on community/school policy. At the end of the day, the principal can do what he wants and my bet is he keeps the book. Which is too bad because it’s really not even a good book – if your sophomore reads only 6 books a year this would not be one I would choose. My advice: use spark notes.

  • November 25, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    This was a ridiculous and unnecessary exercise with the results proving that all along it was not an issue of community standards of decency but the opinion of one woman whose views on literature are out of line with the community standards who would like to bully the district into changing policy. The implication made by The Speak Up For Standards that parents of HPHS students have for the schools 100 year history been allowing the English Department to use morally repugnant and indecent literature in their children’s classes is absurd and highly insulting. The Superintendent should have had the spine to uphold school policy and support his fine faculty. I am very disappointed in his capitulation and believe he does not have the judgement to run this district.


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