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New club policy takes effect anniePARHAM

copy editor Beginning this school year, a new club policy for District Five came into effect. Created early this summer, this policy gives parents the opportunity to decide what clubs their children can and cannot participate in. “The policy allows parents to look at a list of clubs that students can be a part of at Irmo High School, and if there are clubs that parents don’t want their children to join, they can indicate this on the list,” Buddy Price, Director of Community Services at the district office, said. The policy applies to all three high schools in this district. The new policy was developed in response to a controversy that occurred at the end of the 2007-08 school year. Last spring a student requested to form a Gay-Straight Alliance club at Irmo High School. Some administrators and parents voiced concerns about whether this was an appropriate organization. “Some concerns were raised by parents of the community about their

inability to have a voice in what clubs their students participate in,” Price said. Non-curricular clubs are allowed at Irmo High School, so it would have been unfair and illegal not to allow the Gay-Straight Alliance club, according to summary on the district website. The summary says “the challenge for the Board was to provide the equal access required by law in a manner that will be generally acceptable to the community.” To develop lists of approved non-curricular activities, the district collected information from each school on their clubs and organizations. These lists, or opt-out forms, also include areas where parents can indicate what non-curricular activities they do not wish their student to join. They are expected to be available starting in late September or early October. “The opt-out form will list the approved IHS clubs and organizations and will be distributed to parents,” Dr. Lisa Hall, administrative assistant at Irmo High School, said. Hall’s responsibilities include coordinating clubs and organizations. The forms are not mandatory

Approved clubs at Irmo

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Academic Quiz team Aero Space Team Air Force ROTC Color Guard Air Force ROTC Drill Team Air Force ROTC SABRE Alpha Omega Animal Mission ANIME Art Awareness Presentation Team Beta Bowling Breakfast Caring Project

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Cheese Chess Civinettes Daughters of the King DECA Diva Dance Team Earth FCA First Priority French Freshman Board Frisbee FBLA Future Greek Gay-Straight Alliance German

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Gospel Choir Health Occupations Students Of America Income Tax Assistance Interact International Baccalaureate Irmo Theatre Company /Int’l Thespian Society J Pop Junior Class Key Kitty Hawk Lagniappe Landscape

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September, 2008

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for parents and guardians to fill out. “If parents deem appropriate, they may opt not to allow their children to participate in a school club or organization,” Hall said. The district adopted this policy, Policy JJAB, “Student Initiated NonCurriculum Related Student Club/ Organizations,” June 23, 2008. “It’s a policy developed from a lot of input in the community. Some people thought not having certain clubs created issues, some people thought having certain clubs created issues. So, this policy was created to be in compliance with the law, and it gives parents an opportunity to have a voice,” Price said. Despite the district’s enthusiasm for this new policy, some students are less happy about this decision. “The parents are pushing their morals on us,” Chelsea Partain, sophomore, said. “We should have the right to choose on our own the extracurricular activities we do.” School officials seem to be hopeful that the district’s change will be one for the better. “Change is always great when the interest of the students is met,” Hall said.

Latin Math Team Mock Trial Model United Nations Mu Alpha Theta Muslim Student Association National Honor Society Orienteering People In Need Of A Cure Photography Reading, Expression, and Poetry Science Team Senior Board

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Skills USA Society of Irmo Service of Irmo High School Sophomore Class Spanish Spanish Honor Society Speech and Debate The Stinger Student Trainers Tri-M Music Honors Society Truth, The Ultimate Frisbee Yearbook Staff Young Democrats Young Republican

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The Stinger - Sept. 26, 2008  

The voice of Irmo High School

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