The Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees approved minor changes to the district's Student Code of Conduct on Tuesday, just as the trustees do before the start of each school year. I thumbed ahead to that part of the agenda, so when the board caught up to me, I was pleased that trustee Jim Hitzelberger asked the very question that was in my head: "Why would you remove switchblades from the list of prohibited weapons?"
The page preceding the Student Code of Conduct contained this paragraph:
The major legislative changes in the proposed Code include the additions of maintaining discipline on district vehicles, removal of switchblade knives from prohibited weapons, and addition of salvia to the list of controlled substances.
Cristy Hirsh, HPISD's student and administrative services coordinator, clarified that those were recommendations from the state that she chose not to include in this district's policies.
"It was a curious decision, and it was the state's decision," Hirsh said in response to Hitzelberger's question. "I can't imagine why."
That was followed by this exchange, which I will present exactly as it happened, without comment:
Hitzelberger: "Sam's too embarrassed to ask; what is salvia?"
Hirsh: "It's a plant that is used for getting high."
Trustee Sam Dalton: "I thought it was a misspelling of saliva."
Trustee Kelly Walker: "It's actually a pretty flower."