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Bring It On! – March 3, 2014

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Clarence Boone and Bev Smith welcome Monroe County Community School Corporation talent and diversity specialist, Diane Hanks.

PART ONE
On Tonight’s show, Clarence and Bev welcome Diane Hanks, talent and diversity specialist for the Monroe County Community School Corporation, to the show.

Diane, the former vice-principal at Tri-North Middle School, joined the MCCSC in the new role in October of 2013. Her strategic role to bolster the pool of diverse talent in order to increase the number of MCCSC staff members who are minorities.

PART TWO
Headline news and local calendar events of interest to the African-American community.

CREDITS
Hosts: Clarence Boone and Bev Smith
Bring It On! is produced by Clarence Boone
Executive Producer Alycin Bektesh
Our News Editor is Michael Nowlin
Our Board Engineer is Chris Martin

Witmer Approved as Monroe County School Resources Officer

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At the December meeting of the Monroe County Community School Corporation’s Board of School Trustees, Jim Witmer was approved as the inaugural School Resources Officer for the district. John Carter, director of planning for MCCSC, told us more on what he will do as school resources officer.

“He’ll be providing resources to staff on mediation training and foster relationships with parents and students and teachers,” Carter says.”The benefits of this are if you have someone in your building that the kids are comfortable telling things to, that’s what you want. For example, threats of violence to other students, sometimes the students know those. We want the students to have every avenue possible to tell us. They could tell a teacher, a counselor, a principal, or even a bus driver. Now we have a school resources officer who is versed in law enforcement and can help.”

A portion of Witmer’s salary will come from a grant from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, a program added to the Indiana code by the 2013 General Assembly. The code states that a school resource officer may make arrests, conduct search or seizure of property, and carry a firearm on school property. Carter talks about other requirements of the position.

“The state statute has said that the qualifications are important for a school resources officer,” Carter says, “The law enforcement training is the most important. You have to keep up your certifications and go to school resource officer training school. They need to know the difference from being law enforcement and law enforcement in a school setting.”

The matching homeland security grant is on a two-year cycle. Carter says he expects that the school corporation will try to renew it, but that there are no policies in place to measure the effectiveness of the position.

“We hope to keep the school resources officer,” Carter says, “We want to be able to say we feel safer with this extra resource of information to provide to students, parents and staff. That’s probably the biggest benefit.”

Jim Witmer is a 23 year veteran of the Bloomington Police Department and began a campaign for Monroe county sheriff this year.

His campaign website has the following announcement, in relation to his new position: “I am sad to say that in choosing to accept this position, I will need to withdraw from the Monroe County Sheriff’s race. Although I wasn’t able to complete that mission, I feel that nothing is more valuable than our children, and I promise that I will do everything in my power to provide a safe environment for our children to learn and grow.”

Monroe County School Diversity Offical Declares Most Minority Employees ‘Satisfied’

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On Tuesday a newly assigned diversity official at the Monroe County Community School Corporation said minority employees there are mostly pleased with their work environment.

Diane Hanks, the corporation’s diversity and talent specialist, said her office held forums last month for employees from underrepresented groups.

“Generally the employees were satisfied and feel comfortable in their respected environment,” Hanks said, “Their work environment is inclusive regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability and age.”

The forums were a response to the same controversy that led to the creation of Hanks’ new position.

Many community members were angry when the corporation promoted a white administrator to be principal at Tri-North Middle School. Hanks had also applied for the job, and some alleged that racial bias affected the decision, especially because Hanks had more experience as an administrator.

During that controversy, some MCCSC employees of color said a lack of diversity at the Corporation was a problem. And in her report this week, Hanks said there are indeed still issues that need addressed.

Hanks went on to say that the corporation should address concerns from employees who want more information about how to advance within the corporation.

Daily Local News – August 30th, 2013

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On August 27th, the Monroe County Community School Corporation’s Board of Trustees was joined by a crowd of community members angry about a lack of diversity in the Corporation’s faculty and staff; In their  meeting August 28th , the Bloomington City Council discussed proposed new rules the city police chief said would help recover stolen property; At its August 26 meeting, the Ellettsville Town Council delayed a vote on a contract that would change the way utility bills are sent to town residents.

FEATURE
GARLIC FEST
The Sycamore Landtrust’s Hillbilly Haiku jump starts a Bloomington Labor Day weekend full of festivals. The annual 4th Street Festival of the arts runs Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm along 4th and grant streets, featuring area artists and local non profits. Also this weekend in Third Street Park: the second annual Bloomington Garlic Festival will be offering food, live music and art, on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 10am. All foods will feature garlic and there will also be a Healthful Garlic Cooking Contest with cash prizes awarded on Saturday sponsored by The Runcible Spoon, and featured speakers  on the topic of buying and preparing healthy foods. Event Organizers Dave Cox & Tim Haas stopped into the studio earlier this week, and speak with WFHB Board President about the weekend happenings, here in today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Today’s headlines were written by Joe Crawford and Jack Renner
for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television Services
Volunteer Connection was produced by Sarah Hettrick, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our Engineer is Harrison Wagner
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

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