December 2, 2013

Proposed Peru Central policy raises concerns

Peru board members consider restrictions

PERU — A policy under consideration by Peru Central School Board on public use of district facilities has raised some concerns. 

The intent of the guidelines, which have not yet been approved by the board, is to ensure the district is adhering to State Education Law Section 414, which addresses use of schoolhouse and grounds, PCS Board President Donna LaRocque told attendees at a recent board meeting.

The law prohibits groups and organizations with exclusive membership from holding events on school grounds.

It also prohibits for-profit organizations from charging admission fees to events in district facilities unless all proceeds are expended for educational or charitable purposes.


The district has no official facilities-use policy in place, and some community members have expressed concern that implementing such guidelines could have negative effects.

People work very hard to pay school taxes and should be able to use the facilities, former PCS Board member Alan Stafford said during the meeting’s public-comment portion.

“The more time you can get people coming into this school building for functions, the better off you’re going to be,” he said.


Community member Michelle LaPoint also spoke at the meeting, urging the board to vote against anything that would prohibit evening Zumba classes from continuing at the school.

PCSD Superintendent Dr. Patrick Brimstein told the Press-Republican in a separate interview that the classes had been taking place at Peru Central for a few years. However, after the board members began discussing the need to enact a building-use policy, they requested more information about that activity.

The Zumba group, Brimstein said, was asked whether the instructor was licensed to teach the classes, whether the group had its own insurance and if all the profits from the classes were used for a charitable purpose.

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