A week ago Friday I was annoyed to watch WDSE’s Almanac North which covered the Board’s decision not even to negotiate a possible sale of the Central site with the Duluth Public Schools Academy. I was annoyed because the vote was a 4 – 3 vote and the station only invited Board members who voted on one side – the majority. I’ll let you watch and see how well these spokesmen acquitted themselves.

Tonight I turned on the program in its last six minutes and just caught one couple’s reaction to the majority’s side. It was articulate and unsympathetic.

That was true of three letters in the Duluth News Tribune today as well. The decision is a week old and its not blowing over.

The first begins: Why can’t the Duluth School Board do something right for a change?

The second makes this observation: District 709’s “Community Vision” clearly states the district will “include all voices in our community, provide schools that serve the entire community, (and) utilize school facilities as a shared resource for all.” From a community perspective, by not accepting the offer for Central, the district ignored a large part of what it says it stands for.

The third threatens: The four School Board members who voted against selling the Central High School site should know that there is a movement happening to research the process of recall elections and to recall them (“Central High property offer rejected,” April 1).

This has been researched before in Duluth. The great irony to me is that our legislature decided to protect local politicians from the voters between elections but that a hundred years ago they put in statute a law that allows school board members (not City Councils or County Boards) to remove an annoying Board member on the most vague of charges. Its a law not unlike the old vagrancy laws which the US Supreme Court has many times ruled unconstitutional.

Duluth voters have long memories. The Duluth School District is strapped for cash. This will not be forgotten any time soon to the peril of our youngest community members.

I just discovered that the Trib has another three letters criticizing the Board’s Central decision lined up for tomorrow’s paper.

About the author