welcome to the Duluth School Board

As if five weeks of non stop abuse in emails and letters to the editor (including this one today) aren’t enough here comes this email to the Board from new member Nora Sandstad:

FYI, I was served with a summons and complaint tonight. It is the lawsuit we saw in the paper past week, that appears to have been amended to name 4 school districts as defendants (in addition to the original defendants, the governor and Dept of Ed). I don’t know if anyone else received a copy, so I’ll plan to get this one to administration tomorrow for processing.

I guess I’ll be getting my summons soon.

Member Johnston sent an irritated email to Supt. Gronseth after the Trib’s story wanting to know why, since we were mentioned in the suit, we school board members hadn’t been notified. Mr. Gronseth explained that while we are used as an example of an alleged problem with tenure hurting poorer children we weren’t an official party to the suit. Since this was the case he saw no reason to notify us. Instead we are learning by being served summons and complaints that we are now defendants. Our Attorney” Kevin Rupp” must be rubbing his hands together in anticipation of more legal fees from reliable ole ISD 709.

By coincidence, I had a long talk about this suit, which I have only followed in passing, with my friend DWB friend Tim. He asked me what I thought of the case and I explained that as of that moment I didn’t know much more than what I had read in the Trib. I did mention that we weren’t actual defendants and told him I thought I had heard on NPR that a sister suit in California had been ruled against in the lower courts forcing an appeal to a higher court. I also expressed my general sense that it was a lawsuit that would not quite pass legal muster in the end.

A hundred years ago it was a law that was meant to truly protect teachers and their freedom to teach so that they wouldn’t get fired if they taught something controversial like evolution. The lawsuit is backed by the sentiment that its just a way to protect marginal teachers. Besides, over half the American public believes evolution is bunk anyway. Oh wait. This Salon article says that’s changing. Yippee!

At any rate, this lawsuit probably has the Koch Brother’s behind it or some other nefarious actor in the Great Right Wing Conspiracy. I’m too lazy to look it up at the moment. As for summoness – Heck, when I was with Let Duluth Vote our lawsuit ended up with School Board members being served subpoenas. It comes with the job. Although it would have been nice to get a heads up from our Administration in advance.

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