Earlier today, the arrangement of the Gold Ribbon scandal meeting at Mariners changed to accommodate more parents. Not only was the invitation extended to all parents instead of a select few, but an evening meeting was added to allow working parents to express their opinions. Here is the revised invitation – the oops:

“As a result of concerns raised at a recent Board of Education meeting, members of NMUSD’s District-level administration will be on campus this week to gather input from teachers, classified staff, students, and parents.

“Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 14 at 3:15 in the MPR, there will be a meeting with PTA and Foundation Officers, members of School Site Council, parents who attended the Board Meeting, and primary and upper-grade parents not affiliated with the aforementioned groups.

“The meeting was kept purposefully small so that each person would have the opportunity to offer feedback. However, all are welcome to attend.

“Also, to be respectful of scheduling conflicts, there will be an evening meeting on Wednesday, June 15 at 6:00 pm in the PFT. Again, all are welcome.”

Yeah, right. Whatever. What I detest most about this latest draft is the insult to the intelligence of the parents who raised the issue of the wacky meeting in the first place. Would it have been so hard to write that owing to pressure from the community, the meeting structure and timing have changed? Not only would it have been honest, it would have been refreshing.

It is interesting to note that in both memos, the exact nature of the “concerns raised at a recent Board of Education meeting” is never mentioned. There isn’t a word about accusations of “untruths and inaccuracies” in the school’s application for Gold Ribbon status.

These meetings are unnecessary a waste of time, and scheduled only to present faux concern by the powers that be. As I wrote this morning, the Superintendent needs to step up and take over this latest scandal by conducting a thorough investigation into these serious charges. If there is a meeting, it should be for him to report his findings.

After all, what are the expectations of the meetings tomorrow and Wednesday? Teachers are upset and they made their specific complaints crystal clear through a letter signed by union Executive Director Nicholas Dix. There is no input from any of the other invitees that can be of any help, unless someone or some people assisted in completing the application. Either there are untruths and inaccuracies in the application, or there are not.

These meetings are a show to try to fool teachers and parents into believing that there is more to the story, nothing more.

Here it is again:  Either there are untruths and inaccuracies in the application, or there are not. Pick one.

The very good news out of all of this is the remarkable activism of the parents at Mariners and their spectacular show of support for the teachers at the school. These parents are heroes.

Steve Smith

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