The Aug. 11 school board meeting (and the after-meeting) was an embarrassment. Dave "Watchdog" Miner properly tried to keep the board focused on integrity. Sadly, other members want to sweep the lack of integrity on the part of current and former staff members under the rug -- all for the sake of "getting along."
Karen Carpenter and Charlie Kennedy made it clear that they don't want to hear about, and certainly don't want to discuss, issues of staff integrity. They are afraid that doing so will harm the ability of the district to ask for the electorate for additional funding.
How can the district go before the voters if it doesn't address current ethical lapses and do its best to make whole those who were unjustly damaged by the ethical lapses of the former superintendent and those acting at his direction?
First on the list of former employees wrongly attacked and harmed by the prior administration is Bob Gagnon. He was never part of the "good old boy" network in the district. He was a bold reformer who cares deeply about the students.
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When I was chair of the Manatee High SAC, I had to appear several times before the then "good old boy" board to defend Gagnon's efforts to reform Manatee High School.
He should be restored to a position in the district where he can use his substantial skills to benefit our students and our community.
The position of executive director of secondary schools is open. The position perfectly matches Gagnon's skills and experience. He knows the district, our students, and our community. The district needs to rectify the lack of integrity that led to Gagnon's dismissal. Our students and our community will be the beneficiaries.