A review copy of this case is available free of charge to educators and trainers. Please
create an account
or sign in
to gain access to this material.
Permission to Reprint
Each purchase of this product entitles the buyer to one digital file and use.
If you intend to distribute, teach, or share this item, you must purchase
permission for each individual who will be given access.
Learn more about
purchasing permission to reprint.
Abstract: When teachers at a Madison, Wisconsin elementary school announce plans to mount a photo exhibit featuring families with gay or lesbian parents, school system superintendent Cheryl Wilhoyte faces a vexing decision. She knows well that the exhibit will be controversial and will likely offend members of the community, especially a group of conservative Christian parents. She knows, too, that liberal teachers will view the issue as one involving academic freedom, keyed to the school's system's "anti-bias" curriculum. In this leadership case, the superintendent must decide, in effect, whether and/or how to decide. Should this be a school-level decision? Or does it demand her own intervention? She must even decide on what grounds she should base her decide about whether to become involved.
Learning Objective: The case is useful for discussions of leadership in a decentralized environment, as well as issues of how authorities must deal with cultural conflict in a public sector context.