Stephen Liljenquist, the new Chair of the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee, gave a report of the troubled group at this week’s meeting of the Morris School Board. Admitting the group was dysfunctional last year, and beset with a series of communication problems that has put its $30,000 funding on hold, Liljenquist said the group has been making strides to correct past mistakes and is optimistic things will turn around.
“Meetings in the past have been at someone’s home. There was one time they requested doing it at the bar and they were told, No, we’re not doing it at the bar — plain and simple,” said Liljenquist. “A house is bad enough, but not a bar. But we are going to be using the Spanish Room from now on for these meetings to make it a public option.”
Liljenquist said he was committed to transparency with the School Board, and on the positive side noted that 19 of 20 spots have been filled for a Lakota/Dakota language class. Native American students involved in this year’s High School musical also brought to his attention a song they found offensive, which led to the show’s director talking to the playwright in New York, who then sent an alternate song.