A New Agenda

Becky Meyer and her Plans for the School District


Aidan Terry, Video Editor

Inside of the walls of Sandpoint High School, and many other schools around the district, a subtle feeling of discontent can be felt like an omnipotent weight placed on the hearts of the students. The winter has a way of taking a toll on the emotional states and productivity of many, but this year it feels different. When looking forward to the winter-times, there is a single driving force that keeps students coming to school. That force being the promise of snow days. There is a sort of magic in waking up in the morning and having a fresh layer of snow glinting in the morning sun. Freeing you for a day away from the stressors of school. Yet this year there have been almost no snow days. And why? Many are blaming the new superintendent, Becky Meyer, but is this fair? I set out to find the truth. Becky Meyer is in no way new to the position of superintendent. Before being employed by unanimous vote in the Lake Pend Oreille board of trustees, Meyer worked as superintendent in the Lakeland School District. Nor is she new to Sandpoint. Meyer worked at Sandpoint High School for many years, working her way into the position of principal. There is no doubt of her formal training, she has a Ph.D in education from the University of Idaho. But is that enough?

Public opinion among students is that Becky Meyer is rather incompetent at her job. This sentiment stems from the fact that the new superintendent has chosen to not call in a snowday a number of times where students felt it was clear that conditions outside were unsafe and bordering on dangerous. Becky Meyer has stated on many occasions, including in an interview I had with her, that parents have the final say on sending their children to school on any given day, and if they feel that conditions are unsafe, they should keep their children at home. The problem arises when one considers the fact that the school-day continues on as normal whether half the students are there or not. This would lead to select students, those who had been kept home in order to keep them safe, to potentially miss a test, or an important lecture, or the deadline of a project. This obviously has adverse effects on the grades of students, until they come in on their own time to make up for the time they missed. It is clear as to why there has been a level of public outcry because of these questionable decisions on the superintendent’s part. People love snow days. They’re a brief respite from school day monotony. When you take something the people love away from them, they get mad. That’s just how it is.

Becky Meyer has also been implementing many new security measures in the school district. Obviously, these protocols are intended to protect the children, and the sentiments come from a good place. Nobody is arguing that there isn’t an epidemic of fear going around the United States, for good reason, but some are beginning to question whether these new policies are truly necessary. Video security is now at the entrance of almost every school. The idea is good in theory. Its execution is questionable in practice. The security is a half measure at best and may create more trouble than it’s worth. The video security bars people from coming in, true, but if you flash a student id card, or make up a reasonable explanation as to why you need to be in the school, you can get into the school with almost no pushback. In order for this to be effective more care at these entry points would have to be made.

Although some students are questioning these security measures many parents are relieved to know the school district has someone in charge that is making student safety a priority. While researching for my interview with Becky Meyer, I found a rather interesting policy she implemented while superintendent of Lakeland School District. Meyer had chosen to install armed guards within the schools of Lakeland. Later on I found a draft of Meyer’s five year plan for the Lake Pend Oreille School District. Among the top lines read the words Armed Guards. So, I decided to ask Meyer about this interesting new policy she had planned for the schools. Meyer stated that these armed guards, which she does plan to implement, would be retired law enforcement trained in order to try and protect the schools. These armed guards would be paid around the same salary as our teachers and would first be implemented in Clark Fork.

As Spring is now upon us the chance of a snow day is zero but we can all hope for more snow days next year!