January 12, 2022
I wanted to take a moment and share some additional information regarding the after-school club you may have heard about. I know there are many mounting concerns and questions. I hear you and I understand. Here are some details which may answer some of your questions:
- The facility rental for this after-school activity was not generated by the district and is not affiliated with Jane Addams or the district. It is nothing that involves or impacts the school day.
- A parent from within our district reached out to the national after-school satan club, informing them that Jane Addams Elementary School, in Moline, offers a child evangelism fellowship club and asked that they bring their program to that school as well, to offer parents a choice of different viewpoints.
- No teachers from Jane Addams, or any other district teacher, is involved.
- Flyers were not distributed to all students. A total of 30 flyers were sent to Addams by the organization to be placed in the lobby. Flyers and promotional materials for facility rentals that are religious in nature, qualify for lobby display only. The flyers were on a table in the lobby and that is what some students picked up.
- Board of Education policy allows for community use of our facilities.
- The district approves many facility use agreements with local churches.
- Since we have allowed religious entities to rent our facilities after school hours, we are not permitted to discriminate against different religious viewpoints.
- To illegally deny their organization (viewpoint) to pay to rent our publicly funded institution, after school hours, subjects the district to a discrimination lawsuit, which we will not win, likely taking thousands upon thousands of tax-payer dollars away from our teachers, staff, and classrooms.
- Parents can choose which after-school facility rental activities in which they wish their kids to participate and must sign a permission slip. This includes the Good News Christian Club, Boys and Girl Scouts, and so on. This means any student choosing to partake in this activity would need parent permission.
I know how distressing this has become and I hope these additional details have answered some of your questions.
Rachel Savage, Superintendent, Moline-Coal Valley Schools