There appears to be trouble in Paradise, specifically Paradise Valley. The superintendent of the public school system has resigned, seemingly due to pressure from parents who opposed his failure to reopen schools. Reports indicate that the superintendent was harassed by parents, with a map showing his residence sent out over the internet. This is bullying, plain and simple, and should be punished.
Meanwhile, approximately 5,000 people signed a petition supporting the superintendent, and some district teachers congregated outside the district offices demonstrating support and opposing the resignation. Most Americas believe in local control of public education, yet parental bullying is not local control.
School boards are elected to represent the population in a school district and the board hires a superintendent. If parents object to an action taken by the district, they should appeal to the board and have an opportunity to provide information supporting their opinion. If the board is unfair and fails to consider the concerns, the parents have the responsibility to find candidates to run for board seats at the next election. This is local control, which was not what has been happening in PV.
Typically, parents who raise concerns about school procedures which affect their children, either believe that they know more than the education experts or they are acting in the best interests of the children. Normally neither is actually true.
Meanwhile, in Maricopa, parents acted appropriately to counter a recommendation of the MUSD superintendent. She communicated to the board that the return from winter break should be delayed from January 5 to January 11, and the four days should be taken from the spring break to balance the schedule. This recommendation was made public, and citizens sent messages to the board asking for no change in the schedule. The board heard the public’s concerns and voted to allow the school calendar to remain unchanged.
It appears that despite not having the multi-million dollar mansions that populate PV, Maricopa contains citizens who act in a more civil manner than our neighbors to the north. There was no bullying, simply effective messaging. Bullying of school board members and district administrators should be dealt with just as schools attempt to deal with students bullying other students.
Life should not be punctuated by threats and harassment. Our schools are too important to be corrupted by criminal behavior. Those members of the PV community should be ashamed of what they have done and how they have set a terrible example for their young children.