As The Iowa Standard continues to follow the controversy from a gay pride event held outside Peet Junior High earlier this year, pressing questions remain.
One of which is whether Sen. Eric Giddens and his wife, Kendra Wohlert, violated district policy. Giddens is a former member of the school board and Wohlert is a former district employee.
Janelle Darst, the director of communications and community relations for the Cedar Falls district, said Peet principal Bill Boevers did not grant permission to adults who are not employed by the district to be conducting political activity on school grounds during school time.
The event, which was supposed to be a “show kindness” event according to Darst, did not happen as expected or as approved.
According to district policy, it is likely that “Difference” is a noncurriculum-related group. According to district policy, only students may attend and participate in meetings of noncurriculum-related groups.
If Wohlert and Giddens did not have permission from Mr. Boevers to conduct political activity on school grounds, and the event was supposed to be an event hosted by a noncurriculum-related group, the question is whether Wohlert and Giddens were then non-authorized persons on school property.
According to district policy, persons should not be on school premises at any time without authorization of the school building administrator.
Non-authorized persons, according to district policy, are:
1. Students not assigned to that specific building.
2. Any person not an employee of the Cedar Falls Community School District.
3. An employee or volunteer not assigned duties at that building or premises.
4. Other persons who do not have authorizations of the school building administrator or designee.
According to district policy, non-authorized persons “will be required to leave the school premises and may be subject to criminal prosecution.”
While the district says Giddens and Wohlert did not have permission to conduct political activity, video of the incident indicates Wohlert and Giddens felt more than welcomed to be conducting the event on school property.
“Would you like to go in and talk to the administration with me,” Giddens asked. “Let’s go in and talk.”
Wohlert said the school OK’d the event.
“They sure did. They sure did approve it,” Wohlert said.
As Boevers enters the office, Wohlert tells Boevers we had an enormously successful event.
Boevers told the concerned parent he knew the event was happening on school grounds and he OK’d it.