Two student journalists at Bayfield Middle School apologized for an article that was published in the student newspaper in January, and they thanked community members for presenting their concerns.
The two attended Tuesday night's meeting of the Bayfield School Board, which had 17 parents and teachers in attendance, a higher number than normal.
"We're not trying to offend anyone, we're not trying to force it on people," Daelynn Spicher, one of the students, said of articles in the Timely Wolverine that address gay, lesbian and transgender issues.
An article in the Jan. 6 issue had some wording that was not appropriate for the newspaper, said Brooke Morse, another staff member.
One parent at the May 8 board meeting had reservations about the number of articles in the newspaper that address gay issues.
Another parent had concerns about the school's dress code at the same meeting.
Both girls said they believe the dress code is applied fairly to students, and one of them said she had been disciplined for violating the code.
The girls were thanked for attending the meeting to discuss parents' concerns.
"I commend you for speaking up today," said Brooke Smith, a parent in the district.
It's important for the community to come together to discuss these issues, said Tim Stumpf, a former president of the school board,
"When talking stops, we have problems," he said, thanking the board for taking public comment at the meeting on the topics.
Becky Talbot, a teacher in the district and the mother of two special needs students, asked parents attending the meeting to embrace diversity in the schools.
"My kids matter," she said. "We need to tolerate these differences. If not, we have a very ugly town."
In other action, increased security is coming to Bayfield's schools.
Construction and renovations at the schools will include more security cameras, electronic card access systems and monitoring of all entrances into schools.
The upgrade will include a door that can unlock at 6 p.m., for example, if a school room is rented, then it will lock automatically when the event is over.
"It's just amazing," said Marty Zwisler, the owner's representative on the construction projects, noting that many of these security upgrades weren't available even five years ago.
One staff member said she has a more basic safety concern.
Maria Miller, a teacher, said she had a student who choked on a piece of potato at lunch, and she had to perform the Heimlich maneuver to get it out.
"We almost lost a little boy," she said, noting that she hadn't taken first aid since she was 12 years old. She asked that first aid and CPR training be provided for teachers, and board members agreed it's a good idea.
There are personnel changes coming to the administration, also.
New superintendent Kevin Aten starts June 18.
Also, in July, the board plans to accept letters of interest from residents interested in applying for a board seat that will be vacated in June.