As a graduate of Tenaya Elementary School (1974) and a parent of a Don Pedro High School student, I would like to provide an opinion from another point of view concerning our current Big Oak Flat-Groveland School District controversy. Let’s rethink before we vote to recall the board. Members of the board have become defensive due to personal accusations of their character, decisions made, and their qualifications. You and I would do the same. Abraham Lincoln stated, “Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.” Truth will empower our board to be proactive, serve fairly, and do their job by supporting all schools, teachers, and administration.
Groveland residents have been heard by voicing their opinions. Don Pedro students and parents need to do likewise. It is time for us to care about our school. For the last 13 years we have had seven administrators; we have been lacking curriculum, programs, library, cafeteria, and facilities. We just seem to make-do with what little we have. I have been told that Don Pedro High School parents just don’t care about our school. We have never been represented in our district until now. It is time to care.
It is time to work toward the betterment of all the schools in our district. Tenaya’s gym should get the promised improvements; Tioga should have a math teacher. And we should all celebrate each school’s successes, as it will ultimately benefit us all. But let’s practice fairness. I have heard it said that fairness is not getting what is deserved but getting what is needed.
Let’s rethink, not recall.
Susie Frei, Don Pedro
The Big Oak Flat-Groveland Unified School District School Board is making costly decisions for a school board which may be recalled. What are the trustees’ intentions? They openly oppose the will of the majority of the district’s teachers, who issued a vote of no confidence regarding the board and who want the resignation of Superintendent Mari Brabbin. The board openly opposes the students, staff, teachers and administrator at Tioga High School.
• They rehired the superintendent, although this should have been tabled until the recall (if it is successful).
• They voted to consider a reorganization of the district and hire a firm to study the issue and formulate a plan. Studies by outside firms are costly. Why do they want to reorganize the district when they may be recalled?
• Soon teacher lay-off notices were issued. Will those given these notices will be primarily the teachers who support the recall?
• Why isn’t the board doing anything about the degradation of Tioga High School’s academic program, spearheaded by Brabbin?
• Have they met with the students of Tioga High to see what can be done to mend the rift between them and the board?
• Do they personally visit the schools they oversee?
• Why are some allowed to speak at board meetings and others are not?
• Are these changes being made as manipulative retaliation against those whose oppose them?
• Ask the students, staff, teachers and administrator at Tioga High School why they support the recall, and ask Board President Lillian Cravins why she calls those supporting the recall troublemakers and liars.
Something to chew on.
Robert D. Wilson, Valenzuela City, Philippines
(Robert Wilson is a former district teacher and father of three district students).
In the Feb. 27 Union Democrat, Mona Charen wrote a column, “New Deal or Raw Deal.” It is not the professional writing we expect from feature writers and is full of quotes carefully selected to reinvent a story.
The fact is that knowledgeable historians, economists and political scientists are still debating the efficacy of FDR policies in the Great Depression.
But that is not the end of the story. There are shrill voices today who want desperately to destroy confidence in the president’s efforts to deal with the depression of today. What they don’t realize is that consumer confidence is necessary to defeat the depression. If the consumer is not ready to spend, the economy will remain comatose.
Subtly raising questions about FDR and hoping they will stick to President Obama is no way to strengthen consumer confidence. Hoping the president’s policies will fail is not the way to encourage confidence or hope, both of which are parts of the foundation of recovery.
It is ideologically selfish and patriotically reprehensible for those adoring Mr. Limbaugh to tolerate his dangerous and angry protestations. Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, we need to feel obliged, free and eager to calmly debate the issues. I think Mr. Steele, the chairman of the Republican Party was right. The Rush Limbaughs and the Mona Charens of the world are curiously entertaining. But so are comedians and daredevils.
Let rational and dedicated Americans, not politicos talk. Give sober and reasonable Americans time to solve these serious problems. These economic, political and terribly interrelated issues are like dynamite. We don’t want the incompetent juggling them around.
Jay Bell, Columbia
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