Letters to the Editor

Mills threw out good with the bad; apology needed

It is not surprising that former Superintendent Rick Mills found the 2014 School Board election "disruptive." That is how democracies work. Despots don't understand that democracy can be messy. It offends their sense of order and need to maintain control at all costs.

Elections are how the community expresses its views. When Mills lost his majority on the School Board, he knew his time here was nearly up. He was right.

But he left in his wake the ruined careers and tarnished reputations of dedicated educators who have done much more for the students of Manatee County than Mills could do in a lifetime. Joe Kinnan and Bob Gagnon are only the two best-known victims of the Mills pogrom. There are many others.

If this community, and the School Board itself, has a shred of decency, it will act immediately to make things right. Start with an apology. Then follow up with full reinstatement so those who were purged can get back to work helping our students.

The Herald's May 14 editorial is among the most wrong-headed things I have ever read in a newspaper. You urge the School Board and the community to set aside "personal and political agendas." That would have been good advice to give Mills the last two years, which have been a nightmare in our schools, thanks to Mills' own personal and political agenda.

Yes, the District needs to move forward. It also needs to remember that there was much good in the District's past on which to build. It was a mistake for Mills to tear it all down and throw out the good with the bad. His failure to recognize the difference led to his demise as superintendent.

Scott Bassett