The Brentwood Board of Education submitted the following letter to the editor following the recent events surrounding the ouster of as principal of . Want to submit ? E-mail editor Ryan Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear members of the Brentwood community,
The Brentwood Public School District is dedicated to providing the best education possible to the children of our community. The district is a vibrant and high-quality learning environment committed to preparing our students to function as solid citizens as they move forward throughout their lives. We are writing today to update you on recent developments as the district moves forward to further enhance our students’ educational programming.
We understand that the turnout of citizens at the represents the strong feelings of some members of our community. We thank you for your attendance, and we want you to know that we value your opinion.
Our board permits public comment, the purpose of which is to allow the board to receive feedback and information regarding the concerns of the person who speaks. However, consistent with proper meeting protocol, the board cannot engage in a dialogue or discussion regarding specific comments.
In addition, the board has a legal obligation to ensure that matters involving confidential issues, such as those relating to specific employees, remain confidential. Therefore, under law, the board is restrained from commenting, either during or after board meetings, on the factual basis of its decisions regarding specific employees. The board is committed to safeguarding the privacy of others, just as each of us would wish our own privacy to be safeguarded.
At the board’s meeting of February 21, some individuals in attendance stated that, in their opinion, the board had rushed unwisely into actions that would potentially place the district in the position of liability. This most certainly is not the case. We can assure our community that the district’s personnel decisions are carefully made and are based upon solid factual information. They are also made in accordance with law and, when appropriate, after consultation with experienced Missouri school attorneys.
Finally, one of the key concerns of the many citizens was the failure to notify parents of upcoming changes at the same time we notified staff. We agree that we could have made that communication in a more timely manner, and we sincerely apologize for the concern this created.
Sometimes, the protection of individual rights requires enduring the disapproval of other citizens. We continue to welcome the comments of citizens in our public meetings, but we ask that our community understand the nature of the board’s responsibilities, and recognize that the board’s task is not always easy, that the board’s decisions are not impulsive, and that most of all, the board and district employees are committed to providing the best possible education for all of our students.
Thank you for your continued support of our schools.
Brentwood Board of Education