Opinion

School Boards Should Stick to School Issues, Not Slander

Are citizens of Dexter concerned that the Dexter Board of Education has publicly urged us whom to vote for on November 3rd?

We community members wholeheartedly disagree with the opinion – and it is opinion – in the Dexter Board of Education’s October 7th, 2020 letter to the editor that Barbara Read “poses one of the greatest threats to the continued success of our schools.”

By interacting with parents and community members via social media, email or other means, Barbara is doing the job her constituents not only expect her to, but the job they voted her in to do.

What does it mean when the Dexter Board of Education states that a board member “refuses to accept advice and recommendation?” Is a person with diversity of thought deemed a disruptor? Does having a counter opinion to the majority opinion mean a person is an agitator or distrustful?

Or—when a thought leader does not conform his/her thinking to the district agenda—perhaps it is easier to publicly ostracize a public servant through newspaper editorials and label him/her as “disruptive” than it is to continue a public discourse where agreements can be reached between multiple viewpoints?

Barbara Read has persevered as a dedicated public servant through an unjustified smear campaign of which this latest Dexter Board of Education letter to the editor is shamefully a part. As her opponents have tried to silence her, she has tried to communicate transparency to all families by making issues public and she has welcomed any constructive feedback. We have all benefited from Barbara’s openness over her eight years as a trustee. Most community members and taxpayers appreciate learning the whole story behind school board decisions and budgeting.

To the Dexter Board of Education: are libel/slander and bullying what we want our school leaders partaking in instead of focusing on how to best run our schools? Why does the school board not fully support transparency?

We elected Barbara Read to be our voice. And she represents a collective voice in the Dexter Community. As educators and parents, we should never forget school is about teaching our children how to think—not what to think. Furthermore, current and past members of the Dexter Board of Education should listen to how the community thinks, not tell them what to think—or for whom we should vote.

Sincerely,

Concerned Parents, Business Owners & Community Members of Dexter

Brian Anderson

Stacy Anderson

Francisco Arana

Brandon Burnett

Kelsey Burnett

Karen Burns

Donna Cash

April Clark

James Drummond

Jason Dunn

Tanya Dunn

Emily Etchison

Laura Fawcett

Michael Fill

Mary Fill

Kirsten Gibson

Butch Gross

Dori Gross

David Haines

Rhonda Haines

Thomas Hall

Cheryl Hall

Emma Hall

Brandon Hanna

Natalie Hanna

Deborah Hardesty

Alex Huttenga

Martin Kapanowski

Rachelle Kasten

Matthew Keywell

Robert Koback

Joe Krolewski

Jennifer Krolewski

David Krueger

Holly Krueger

Bridget Riddell Lane

Ed LaRoe

Lisa LaRoe

Mike Leenheer

Cecil Lindsey

Audrie Lindsey

Carrie Livingston

Cheri Stewart Luallan

Alvin Mamuyac

Christina Mamuyac

Eileen McGuire

Julie McIntosh

David Miller

Tom Moir

Elizabeth Neil

Andy Ohlman

Jill Ohlman

Carissa Poroko

Ken Sample

Lynn Rae Sample

Pam West Sawin

Bill Simpson

Jennifer Simpson

Margaret Sharon

Mark D. Stockman

Phyllis Jedele Risdon

Tim Rolling

Erin Rolling

Brian Vander Haagen

Christy Hartman Vander Haagen

This post expresses the views and opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily that of The Sun Times News management or staff.

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If Barabara Reed were able to provide transparency without inserting her opinion then your point would be valid. Absent that self censorship, her contributions to this community only serve to create drama and discord.

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Most elected officers in Michigan share their opinions so voters can make informed choices. Here are just two examples from Donna Lasinski (D) and Lana Theis (R) sharing their opinions on recent or upcoming items. Which also, thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving me the opportunity to respond. 

Lasinski
https://www.facebook.com/replasinski/posts/2782942458629909

Theis
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorTheis/posts/1501862433344633

I guess my other thought is that if the community hearing about board actions and plans causes discord, then maybe a piece of the public service puzzle is a little out of place to begin with. I love that meetings are now live streamed and that committee meetings are officially open for the foreseeable future. I see those both as positives in terms of keeping things in place and representing the community with fidelity. 

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And here is my second paragraph: 
I guess my other thought is that if the community hearing about board actions and plans causes discord, then maybe a piece of the public service puzzle is a little out of place to begin with. I love that meetings are now live streamed and that committee meetings are officially open for the foreseeable future. I see those both as positives in terms of keeping things in place and representing the community with fidelity.

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