School Board asks for names on comments

Anyone planning to anonymously call a school board member might as well hang up.

That was the message District 51 School Board members had Tuesday night for people fond of calling or writing with concerns about the district without giving a name.

Board member Cindy Enos-Martinez said at Tuesday’s board meeting she has received calls and letters from concerned citizens, but she finds it hard to take those concerns seriously if the person does not identify him or herself.

“I’m very open, but please, if your opinion means something to you, please sign your name or identify yourself,” Enos-Martinez said. Otherwise, she added, “You’re wasting your time and you’re wasting my time.”

While Board President Harry Butler simply stated, “I can concur with that” after Enos-Martinez’s comments, other board members elaborated on the subject. Board member Greg Mikolai said a letter each board member received last week from a committee that intentionally did not identify its members was the first anonymous letter he’s received since becoming a board member 16 months ago. He said he doesn’t understand why individuals and committees would be afraid to identify themselves.

“We will never exact revenge on anyone who has concerns,” Mikolai said.

Comments aren’t worth much if a person doesn’t have the courage to stand behind them, board member Diann Rice said.

“In the future, if I get an anonymous letter, I won’t even read it,” she said.

Board member Leslie Kiesler said she wants committees and citizens to keep contacting her with concerns, just not anonymously.

“These are supposed concerns. It’s not much of a concern if you don’t sign it,” she said.

The board also adopted a resolution at Tuesday’s meeting naming 13 people to the new School Equity Advisory Committee, which will examine bullying issues in local schools, and approved 2011-12 calendars for Dual Immersion Academy, Glade Park School, Independence Academy, Mesa Valley Vision Home & Community Program, and New Emerson. The school’s calendars are available on the district’s website.


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