School board members "misfire!"
It was most disheartening to listen to the Manatee County School District (MCSD) board meeting Oct. 14 and hear a parent make accusations about infringements on his rights at a local elementary school. His comments related to volunteering and being asked by the principal to refrain from taking unauthorized pictures.
Vague school district policy essentially requires administrators to take necessary action to protect student safety and security. Unfortunately, there is no enacted policy by MCSD regarding unauthorized pictures taken of students on school campuses.
In the 2009-2010 school year, I began volunteering by becoming active in School Advisory Council (SAC) and Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), continuing today though our daughter's no longer there.
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The school continues to function most effectively, in my opinion. The staff exceeds expectations to work with parents, involving them in daily activities and resolving issues. No wonder the school continues to be a leading "school of choice" by parents seeking out-of-district permission to enroll their student(s) there.
The "misfire?" Two school board members made questionable statements about the principal's effectiveness, actions, decision-making abilities, school climate, school progress, and overall school effectiveness. These comments were apparently made without once talking to administrators or staff, but taking the parent's word both outside and during the board meeting.
One of the two members accused the school administrator of making mistakes, again without talking to the administrator.
The second, more derisive board member should have been as cautious about his comments, as he was angry at the school board attorney for apparently divulging Sunshine law information.
Sometimes, the best policy and course of action is "close mouth before inserting foot." Get all the facts before making yourself look foolish. Perhaps the board will conduct a "workshop" on appropriate protocol for their board members' comments.
Robert L. Connor, retired elementary school administrator Palmetto