Friday, June 17, 2016

School trustees need a time out

Waterloo Region's public school trustees are supposed to look after children, not act like them. But in recent months, these publicly elected officials have bickered and battled with each other like a bunch of kindergarten kids until they've become an embarrassment to themselves and this region.

They need to give their heads a shake, remember who elected them — the voting taxpayers — and whom they primarily serve — 61,000 young people trying to get educated. Then the trustees have to grow up and do their job.

By their own admission, and this is based on a new survey answered by nine of 11 trustees, they work poorly with each other and communicate badly with each other. By their own admission, their failure to get along is hurting their ability to govern.

They have, in the words of trustee Andrea Mitchell become "a completely divided … dysfunctional" board. Mitchell herself recently accused fellow trustee Ted Martin of verbally harassing her, though the other trustees later cleared him of violating the board's code of conduct. Even so, tensions are so high the group intends to hire a facilitator to teach them how to play nice.

If this Waterloo Region District School Board cage-match were only about the trustees, the public might simply sigh, then move on. But this isn't just about a quarrelling gaggle of politicians.  (more...)

Maybe a permanent time out:

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