Saturday, December 26, 2009

Peaceably to Assemble

Congress shall make no law respecting … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (The 1st Amendment to the U. S. Constitution)

On the Davis School District's own Web Page, under the heading “General Duties of the Board of Education”, it states: “The Board has complete and final control over local school matters within the framework set by Utah State Legislature and Utah State Board of Education. The Board acts as a legislative body, determining general policies for programs, care, management, and finance of the district’s public schools.”

In short, in relationship to Layton High – they are our government and we have the right to PEACEABLY assemble to petition them.

Because of the wonderful support of those who have written and petitioned for help, the school board has agreed to consider Mr. Smith’s situation. This discussion will not be at the January 5th board meeting, but because of the efforts of so many, they will take action. There is no guarantee of a positive outcome, but we can have high hopes.

Therefore, this is a continuing call for everyone to continue to speak out and write letters encouraging the school board to act for justice. Let me stress that all of my contacts with members of the school board have been very positive. These people are not our “enemies”, they are our representatives and are willing to redress any just grievances.

I have been made aware of a group organizing to attend the next board meeting. All of us can peacefully and respectfully attend the board meeting on the 5th of January at the District Office Building, 45 E. State Street, in Farmington. Sometimes, silence can “speak” very powerfully. I suggest that all wear a blue lapel ribbon to show support and solidarity. If we can attend, show respect, and demonstrate our resolve to do things right, we will strengthen the board’s resolve to do the same.

A suggestion:

I have had great respect and confidence in the district and superintendent. I am hopeful that the superintendent is wise enough to see there is a way out of this difficulty.

At the Friday meeting the assistant superintendent told the faculty that he could have sent us an e-mail. I hope someone will suggest to the superintendent that he can send an e-mail to the Layton faculty on Monday the 4th of January. He can explain that upon reconsideration, it has been decided to allow Mr. Smith to remain the principal of Layton High until the end of this school year. The district will move forward with selecting his replacement and Mr. Smith will be on hand to facilitate the transition.

I wish someone could explain to the superintendent that such courageous and relatively simple action would increase the esteem in which he is held in the district and the Layton High community. Such wisdom would preempt the difficult and divisive course on which so many are now set and it would facilitate the teaching of students; the purpose for which school districts with their boards and superintendents, teachers, and principals exist.

An Update: There have been over 400 visits to the Agora this week, the two face book support groups I know of now boast over 200 members, and a call this morning to a friend on the school board assured me that they have received many letters. I have spoken with several supporters today, who were preparing to mail their letters today, and have met with people out in the community who are joining the effort. Our snowball needs to continue to roll. We all need to keep pushing.

1 comment:

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