School on Jan. 2 was a mistake

By Letter to the Editor January 13, 2012 11:30 pm

Holding school on Jan. 2, a federal and state holiday, was a mistake. While other government agencies were closed, Baker schools opened.

The school district’s response, that they would recommend we don’t do this again, was a smart move. I am still concerned about statements made to me by the superintendent that “Those who chose to skip or promoted skipping are making a judgment that is ethically challenged. It is the behavior of those who skipped that bears scrutiny, not the district’s.”

It is wrong to have teachers teach half a class. It is wrong to start a new year with almost half of the students in some schools behind. It is outrageous for the district to attack those that decided to spend the holiday together as a family. ORS 336.010 states that school districts can’t compel either students or teachers to work on any legal holiday. ORS 187.010 defines legal holidays.

Andrew Bryan and Lynne Burroughs, the two current school board members who were also in office last April when the calendar was approved, chose to put the district at risk. It was the job of the district and board as an employer to tell the union it was a legal holiday. The school board is elected to represent the interests of the parents and students, not the teachers’ union.

The majority of the board does not represent the best interests of the community and the students’ education. Some board members are nothing more than a rubber stamp for the district and the status quo, who get offended when someone questions their actions. They then accuse me of violating my oath of office for holding the district accountable. Like when Bryan, Burroughs and Mark Henderson voted to create a weapons policy that violated the state and U.S. Constitutions, and then knowingly continued to support this illegal policy until the possibility of a lawsuit arose.

This district and board seems to think I answer to them. I answer to the people of this community that elected me over the past leadership and I will fight for the community and the best interests of the students.

Kyle Knight

Baker School Board member