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Perspective gained with facts, differing opinions and respect

 

Last updated 11/24/2020 at 8:47am



I appreciate the opinion and feedback that was shared in the Nov. 18 newspaper regarding my public comments at the Nov. 9 school board meeting. Sharing our opinions on various subjects, knowing that we don’t have to agree on everything, and being willing to hear various perspectives as we shape our own understanding is part of the beauty of our country. Part of our responsibility in sharing those opinions is being sure that our facts are correct. 

Regarding the school board policies on public comment, please see the district website and read Policy 1430 and Procedure 1430P. The superintendent has no say or responsibility in the public comment. That belongs to the chair of the board. There is no directive nor right given to the chair to preview comments before the meeting. I encourage anyone that ever has a question of intent or motive on the part of the district superintendent to email him your direct question. Speaking to the person is always the best way to resolve doubt, confusion, or speculation. 

Another fact to be clarified is that my public comment had nothing to do with my job. In fact, I never mentioned my position at the school. I was very clear that I was addressing the board as a parent. I have every right to do that in order to push for what my children need. Anyone who knows me knows that I do not stand by and watch things happen that concern my children. I, along with the many other parents who were part of that presentation, wanted to do all we could to fight for what our children need. Even if the answer had been no, we all wanted our children to know that we are in their corner fighting for them. 

I, in no way, intended to single anyone out with my comments. I intended to point out that those who want to stay online and teachers have choices, but those who want to go back to school had no choice. If I inadvertently singled out or offended teachers, those teachers are encouraged to contact me. That is how healthy adults handle problems; they go to the person who has offended them and they have a discussion. I am more than open to hearing how I have offended someone and take responsibility and restore as needed. 

Lastly, and most important to me, is that if after that presentation the biggest take away someone has is teacher sympathy, I definitely did not speak loudly enough. Our ask was for the academic and mental health needs of students. Those needs weigh heavily on the minds of parents as we help children navigate the consequences of this pandemic. Please be clear that the intent was to ask for choice for the students who need to be taught in person. 

Differing opinions shared factually and respectfully help us all to gain perspective and insight which leads to a better understanding of each other. Please keep sharing opinions factually, respectfully, and always remember to talk to those you differ with. Hear another side, give others a chance to explain, and be okay with not always agreeing. We’re still all in this together!

Nicole Rasmussen 

 

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