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Muncie Central to keep new procedures after review of controversial class assignment

Poster at Muncie Central High
Muncie Central Protest
Posted at 4:59 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 17:02:03-05

MUNCIE — Muncie Central High School has announced that several new procedures will remain in place now that a law firm has completed its independent review over a class assignment that prompted controversy and student-led protests.

The review, done in reference to a November 2021 conflict over a display of student-created posters regarding social issues in a hallway at the school, was completed by Church Church Hittle + Antrim, according to a statement from the high school.

"The firm conducted interviews with 17 individuals, including involved students; examined several MCS policies and administrative guidelines; and analyzed pertinent case laws regarding free speech, student rights and other legal issues," a statement from the school reads.

The school outlined a list of changes it has implemented following the incident, which includes regular listening sessions with students; a new security team; coordinated communications to address students' concerns; a new mental health resource guide; administrative walk-throughs to address support needed by students, faculty or staff; reviews for teacher-submitted lesson plans; and an "idea and concerns" forum.

RELATED | Muncie Central students back at school after conflict over class project

It also plans to implement the following changes:

  • Development of a written policy in regard to displaying student work in a manner to develop critical thinking skills without resulting disruptions to the educational mission or threats to the safety of MCS students, faculty, staff or administrators
  • A mental health professional will be added at MCHS through our partnership with Meridian Health Services beginning in March
  • Ongoing professional development for teachers to ensure lessons are related to instructional goals
  • A review of expectations for school security officers while providing continued training and professional development
  • Ongoing training for all staff on implicit bias and culturally responsive practices
  • A review of the faculty handbook to ensure it clearly communicates expectations for staff
  • A review of the student handbook by a committee of teachers, counselors and administrators led by Associate Supt. Reynolds to ensure behavioral expectations and consequences are clearly stated
  • A review and implementation of processes to ensure that disciplinary and behavioral issues are addressed equitably and consistently, and that resulting discipline is proportionate

RELATED | Students at Muncie Central High School protest after conflict over a class assignment

It follows a protest staged by students once the posters were moved from a hallway to a classroom after a "disruptive discussion" between a student and school resource officers over the poster display.

The project was based on the graphic novel "V for Vendetta." Students were meant to bring attention to real-world problems that related to the book.

A poster deemed offensive by some featured a drawing of a police officer depicted in "V for Vendetta" with the names of people who have been killed by law enforcement.

The law firm's full report is available here.