Alpine School District will not be jettisoning its lightning rod mission statement any time soon.

A committee asked to weigh in on the issue has decided "the mission statement vision, values and goals should go through the regular review process this fall," board president Debbie Taylor told elected officials in a recent meeting.

Earlier this year some parents had protested use of the word "democracy" in the statement, accusing the district of participating in a socialist conspiracy. Some board members had asked that changes be fast-tracked considering public outcry.

Waiting for the regularly scheduled annual review means that a handful of groups, including parents and district staff, will all give their two cents on what should be done about the mission statement, which is now several pages long. The delay does not mean change is not coming, however.

"Our patrons have asked us to put our values in language that is easier to understand," Taylor said.

The committee's recommendation not to fast-track changes "was a very good decision," said board member Donna Barnes. "They went through all the issues and in my mind they represented all of the board. We feel like the process is important enough that it doesn't have to take a long time. We'll have time to discuss what we want to take out."

The only board member to voice concern over declining to fast-track changes was Chrissy Hannemann, who said her concern was that "we'll have the same information for two years in a row." The meaning of her concern was not immediately clear.

One month ago, district elected officials were emotional when discussing public criticism of the mission statement in recent months.

"It has to come from our hearts," Taylor said at the time.

"There is so much time, effort, consideration and thought that has gone into this document," Barnes said at the time. "To throw it away because some wording is disagreeable to some people is a travesty to all involved in that process."

Board member Tim Osborn has called the mission statement "very charged" and said it should be "revisited."

Caleb Warnock can be reached at cwarnock@heraldextra.com.

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