HOWARD LAKE, WAVERLY, WINSTED, MN – At last night’s Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Board work session, Board Member Charles Bush used a different problem-solving procedure than the school typically follows.
The problem at hand was a book fine complaint from a parent, and Bush’s method was to address the issue with the school board rather than having the parent meet with a principal directly.
“A couple parents approached me, one very upset,” Bush said. “She was faced with a $35 book fine, and was told her kid wouldn’t get grades if it wasn’t paid.”
Bush asked how the fine is determined, and where the money goes.
Middle School Principal Jim Schimelpfenig said fines for lost or destroyed textbooks are based on the cost of the book, taking into account the book’s age. He said fines for books are uncommon, with only one or two a year normally.
Bush said he “hates to see [students] be held so accountable for accidents.”
High School Principal Jason Mix said Bush has spoken in the past about teaching responsibility to students.
“A student who damages something should help pay for it,” Mix explained, adding that he doesn’t want taxpayers to have to pay for property damage.
Schimelpfenig added that part of the reason book fines are rare is because students know they are responsible for taking care of the material. He said students are taught that the books need to last eight years, so they work to make the book as usable for the last student as the first.
Look for the rest of the story, along with other school board coverage, in the Monday, Oct. 3 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here to subscribe online or in print.