"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight;
it's the size of the fight in the dog."
---Dwight D. Eisenhower 

JUNE 22,  2013
scroll down for SIX updates
July 3, 2013
one update

June 22, 2013
 I am announcing that, after more than 7 years of service, I am retiring from my self-appointed position as the School Board Watchdog, effective July 4, 2013.  I may have a few loose ends to tie up after that date, but my official retirement date is Independence Day of this year.
 I wish I could continue in my work as the Watchdog because there is still a LOT of work that needs to be done.  But, I have already put in more than 7 years (that’s more than 49 dog years!), and I have decided that it’s time for me to further pursue other interests.  I do, however, intend to do my duty as a responsible citizen by keeping myself informed.
 I don’t know what lies ahead, but there may be a time in the future when I may decide to briefly come out of retirement to write a letter to the editor or for some other purpose.  Time will tell.
  I am glad that I was able to raise the issue of patriotism in our schools' Mission Statement before I decided to retire because I believe that instilling patriotism in our youth is crucial to preserving America and her freedoms.
 To all of you who have supported me and my work over the past 7+ years:  Thank you very much for your help and support!!
~~Renee Engelhart
June 22, 2013  
Watchdog Report:  June 22, 2013
High School Busing
Pay to Participate
Closing Central School
All-Day Kindergarten
and more 

June 22, 2013 
They're not red, white, and blue!
Mission Statement elevates duty to a "global society" above duty to country
Read quotes that reveal the thinking of those we entrust to educate the children of Brecksville and Broadview Heights.
June 22, 2013 
The future of America lies with our youth.  We all pledge allegiance to our nation.  Do we want our youth to actually be loyal to America?  Or do we want them to simply recite words in the hopes that by doing so, when faced with a threat to their freedom, they will be loyal to America?  Do we want them to learn how to even recognize threats to American freedom?  Given the fact that part of the Board’s stated MISSION is “to inspire and prepare students to be…effective as well as ethical contributors to our global society” and makes no mention of duty to our nation shows—BBHCSD will not teach children how to recognize threats to their freedom. 
The Mission Statement sets the tone and direction for the entire school district and defines its very purpose; it establishes the foundation upon which ALL of our district’s objectives are based.  Recent discussions about its Mission Statement reveal this: 
BBHCSD believes the “global population” is superior to the American population and, therefore, wants “our children to become global citizens”!  (go)
America is a nation founded upon the principles of freedom.  Unlike other nations, America is governed by “We the People” who are united by the common belief in these “self-evident” truths:  “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  
America is the greatest nation in the history of civilization.  America is the richest, freest, most powerful, and most generous nation on earth.  America is the stabilizing force for peace in a tumultuous “global society”.  America is the leader among nations for the protection of human rights.  Oppressed peoples around the world still look to America as their last beacon of hope.  
If the “global population” is supposedly so superior to Americans, why is it that there is no other nation on earth that can boast of all the things with which Americans can take pride? 
Schools have a tremendous amount of influence on impressionable youth---the future generation of leaders of our nation.  What our nation will look like in the future, in many respects, is determined by what values they are taught in school. Unless our nation’s schools foster patriotism and help preserve, reinforce, and teach the principles and traditions that made our nation great, and if our nation’s schools teach that America is inferior (or equal) to other nations, we risk having a future generation of leaders who have totally lost sight of the fundamental principles of freedom upon which our nation was founded.  Then, it won’t be long before we have a generation willing to forfeit our freedoms for a purported good of a  so-called “global society,”  a generation willing to transform our nation from one governed by “We the People” into one governed by "the Government” or “the Global Society.” 
Do we want our youth to learn that there is a cause greater than freedom?  Or do we want them to learn exactly why someone would make the following statement? 
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?  Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”-- Patrick Henry 
The Mission Statement reflects what we, as a community, want children to learn in our schools.  Do we want children to learn that American freedom is worth defending?    The price for freedom has been very costly and has been paid with blood.  At this point, while we have the opportunity, we can fight for America without having to pay that high of a price.   All we need to do is make a phone call, write a letter, or send an email.  We can help fight for America by simply telling Board President, David Tryon (526-5355 / tryond@bbhcsd.org) that the Board’s mission should include teaching children to become ethical and effective contributors to, specifically, AMERICA!   Then, on Independence Day, as we wave our flags in celebration of our freedom, we can take pride in the fact that we, too, did something to defend America. 
June 22, 2013 
At its meeting on Monday, June 24, 2013, the Board will consider a brand new proposal to change the “Patriotic Ceremonies” Policy (# 8800). 
Superintendent Prebles proposes changing the policy FROM:
Professional staff members are authorized to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance at an appropriate time each school day. 
Professional staff members are authorized to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance once per week. 
Currently, our teachers are authorized to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance  each day.  Superintendent Prebles’ proposal, if approved, would take away a teachers’ authority to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance each day.  Instead, the teachers would only be authorized to lead the Pledge of Allegiance once per week.
July 3, 2013
Even though a discussion of the "Patriotic Ceremonies" policy was on the June 24 meeting agenda, the Board decided to NOT discuss the "Patriotic Ceremonies" policy during that June 24 meeting.  The Board said it would, instead, discuss the policy at a special meeting on July 12.
update:  June 22, 2013
Board's actions show it has CONTEMPT for the principle of OPEN GOVERNMENT


When Levies Fail:  Board Inflicts Punishment
What Can the Public Do?

In his October 4, 2009 e-mail document titled "Common Questions about our School District," (former) Board Member Dave Dosen said the following:

Q:  If the levy fails, won't they cut busing, sports, arts, etc. until it passes?

A:  I hear this all the time and it shows how the voter believes that they don't have any influence over their schools. Most people are aware that these cuts don't result in substantial savings but instead are made to "motivate" the public into approving the levy. The final decision to make these cuts rests with the elected School Board. If you don't agree with their decision, call, write, or e-mail them and let them know your thoughts
.-- Dave Dosen 
The Watchdog believes the most effective way to communicate with the School Board is at a public Board meeting.  In the more than seven years that I have been watching the Board, its members RARELY (if ever) reveal concerns the public has brought to them via telephone calls, letters, or e-mails.  It's easier for the Board to ignore the public when the public communicates with the Board on a private personal level, than to ignore the public when those concerns are brought to light at a public meeting.