A Letter to the Editor in the Feb. 22 Tomahawk Leader:
I attended the Feb 3 Merrill School Board meeting. The topic of discussion was “Board Relations.” It was not a discussion – it was a personal attack by board members on Loretta Baughan. The meetings I have attended, leaves me impressed with Loretta’s intelligent questions, her own research on topics and her sharing her research with fellow board members. Loretta brings common sense to board meetings. These traits were the topic of discussion at this meeting. Wait – excuse me – there was no discussion, as board members unprofessionally took turns attacking Loretta. Loretta tried to respond but they would over talk her. She was demeaned and chastised for not being in agreement with the majority of the board. I was shocked by the verbal abuse Loretta had to endure. The board president took no action to control or stop this unwarranted despicable action. No, he jumped into the fray, adding his own demeaning attacks.
Some of these comments: On the topic of teacher lay-offs Loretta wanted further discussion – she was criticized like oh wrong teachers, or you know better then administration, grandstanding, accusing Loretta of voting no on every vote, accused of using common political tactics, of her questions to administration being malicious, her tone of voice not appropriate, accused of how could you (Loretta) have better ideas then administration, and ask your questions before meetings. What came to my mind during this meeting is our district does all it can to prevent school yard bullying. I was shocked at this “School Board Bullying” session. Board members are supposed to represent our interest. The only one there representing us was Loretta.
Thank you Loretta for your efforts for children and this community. I would like to publicly apologize to Loretta for the disrespectful manner and verbal abuse she endured at this meeting. I believe the subjects discussed at board meetings should have rigorous and engaging debates, so that all sides are heard. I don’t believe any board member should be treated in such a disrespectful manner.