Mar 03, 2011 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
The Jordan-Elbridge School Board last night formally rejected a petition, signed by more than 280 residents, asking the board to schedule a special meeting for a vote on four propositions – a vote of “no confidence, a vote to prevent the current board from appointing the new superintendent, and two votes to retract the board’s decision to appeal two recent court decisions.
Jordan Mayor Dick Platten spoke at the meeting, before the vote, as a resident of the J-E community. “Not for anybody else, I can’t do that,” Platten said.
Platten was one of the residents who helped file the petition. He questioned why the board’s resolutions to reject the proposals had not been on the agenda earlier that afternoon, and why they described the petition’s propositions as “impermissible” under state education law.
“I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t have a poll to get a handle on what the community thinks when they are elected to represents the citizens of the school district,” Platten said after the meeting, adding that the propositions were all non-binding.
Board President Mary Alley said the board had received the information from the district’s lawyer Frank Miller just prior to the meeting, so the resolutions were added to a revised agenda provided that night.
Platten said the idea for the petition came to him after meeting with Interim Superintendent Larry Zacher.
“He said, when I met with him, I think it’s only the 40 or 50 people coming to the meetings who are upset,” Platten said. “So I said, ‘let’s find out,’ but I guess they didn’t want to find out.”
Platten taught math in the Jordan-Elbridge School District for 35 years before retiring in 1999.
“I guess you could say I made somewhat of a commitment,” he said. And I enjoyed every day of it. I hope my kids had as much fun as I did.”
The board’s vote to reject a vote to prevent the current board from appointing a new superintendent as well as a vote to retract the board’s decision to appeal “Scro vs. Board of Education” were both unanimous. That appeal seeks to reverse State Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood’s order for the district to reinstate Anthony Scro, fired in October, as the school district’s treasurer.
The board voted 7-1 to reject the “no confidence vote” and to retract the board’s decision to appeal “Zehner vs. Board of Education,” a case which found the board guilty of violating Open Meetings Law. Board member Michael Jorolemon voted no in both cases. Board member Penny Feeney was not in attendance.
J-E fifth grader speaks to board
Hunter Simmons, a Ramsdell Middle School fifth grader, spoke to the J-E school board at the meeting. Simmons, 11, of Jordan, spent three hours working on the speech.
His mother, Tammy, said she did not help her son write the speech, but encouraged him to be polite and courteous.
After Hunter delivered his speech, Alley thanked him, saying it takes a lot of courage to speak in front of a crowd at his age.
Hunter Simmons’ speech:
“I am speaking on behalf of the younger grades in this school district. As an 11-year-old, I am aware of all the crisis’s that is going on in our school district. My peers are in fear that one day this school will be no more.
“As kids we should be worried about what time recess is and what’s for lunch, however we should not be concerned about our academic future being in jeopardy.
“Communities are built around schools. Good schools build better opportunities. For us kids, schools build bonds, friendships, learning and create a better path for life. And once you adults lose focus on what is important, not only will our future be at risk but generations to come will be affected by poor decisions that are made now.
“I am standing in front of you today to let you know that the poor morale of this school district will trickle down to us younger kids. This should not be happening.
“The arguing must stop. Put your differences aside. Start over and begin to work together to find solutions that will be better for us all.
“My concerns are: The new student teacher coming. My best wishes are that she will enjoy working and helping the school, and that she will learn about helping and teaching the kids.
“My second concern is will I, Hunter Simmons, be able to walk across the stage as a proud 2018 Jordan-Elbridge graduate?”
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