Here is my offense as described in a News Trib story of Feb. 23rd:
“Prior to the board’s vote on the issue, Welty said the board was taking the matter seriously and was contemplating the possible termination of “someone who made a terrible mistake,” before Harala interjected to say that Welty couldn’t comment on it due to private data. Welty continued, saying it wasn’t an easy decision and he wished the best for those involved.”
Note: the story points out that I was in a minority that voted against the Board’s actions disciplining an employee. Note that the Board members intent on the discipline are not singled out by the union for criticism. Note that the union’s objection to me is that I breached the District’s paranoid insistence on secrecy and said the word “termination” out loud.
As in the case of the Congdon teachers Board member Rosie Loeffler-Kemp was all over this probably at a Quality Steering Committee meeting. I’m sure she told President Burnham I had committed an unpardonable sin. Where’s Dale Carnegie when you need him? Note which side of the discipline vote she took.
March 3, 2016
2101 E. 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55812
Dear Mr. Welty,
We are sending this letter as an official complaint regarding your comments made at the school board meeting, which was held on February 23rd, 2016.
What are some issues affecting our members/employees can seem sensational, we always advocate for their rights provided for under the law and the district’s board policies. When matters of discipline are being addressed, their data privacy is expected to be; hence the closed session to discuss such sensitive matters.
Your comments in the public portion of the board meeting where not only in violation of the data practices law, it was all so insensitive and contrary to the common decency of allowing an individual an opportunity to salvage dignity and move past a painful personal experience that has had a significant impact on said individual in every aspect of life, now including career path.
Your comments have also sparked a district-wide curiosity, which has led to speculation, rumors, and misinterpretations by other individuals, which are not helpful to our staff.
We expect you, as an elected official, to honor the vows you swore to and are expected to uphold.
Bernadette Burnham, President, Duluth Federation of Teachers.
Evan Sandstead, Field Staff, Education Minnesota
cc. Annie Harala, Board Chairperson
You can find my four page reply to President Burnham here.