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You Can Choose to Be Better or Bitter

On August 23 a recall election will take place for the Sevastopol Board of Education. I am not a voter in the district but I am a recently retired Sevastopol teacher, and served on the Manawa Board of Education for 15 years, prior to moving to Door County. It is with 42 years of experience in education and public service that I encourage voters to cast their ballot to retain Bill Behme and Sue Todey.

Experience tells me that Behme/Todey have acted with the best interest of the total school district and within the laws governing Boards of Education.

This recall election started when a small group, not the majority, of teachers were told no. Their former principal promised them pay increases, ample time without student responsibilities, unlimited budgets, and a disregard for the teacher effectiveness requirements. When she was unable to deliver all she promised, rather than accept responsibility, she found others to blame.

The opponents use the term “majority of teachers.” A “majority of teachers” is not true. The majority of teachers never wrote letters to the Board of Education. A recent article in the Advocate indicates twelve teachers wrote letters – that is not a majority.

When the first attempt at a recall failed this group moved on to the next. By this time the principal was gone and the district administrator retired. Is there a basis for this recall, none other than their old cry of lack of transparency? They have cost the district and taxpayers thousands of dollars in open records searches. Yet, have they uncovered a wrong doing by either Behme or Todey?

I wonder what would be found if an open records request were done on the twelve teachers’ emails. Would we find bullying, a hostile work environment for anyone who doesn’t go along with them, or any unprofessional behavior?

Behme/Todey have stayed the course and upheld their oath of office. They have continued to act in the best interest of the school district as a whole. No matter where I have gone in the last seven months people ask me what is happening to Sevastopol. My response has been, “trust the Board of Education, they have more information than anyone.”

Never in my experience have I witnessed this level of unprofessionalism from a small number of teachers and community members. At times it has been shocking. Board of Education meetings have turned into displays of uncivility toward the elected officials. Remarks have been cruel and inflammatory. The use of social media, emails, and text messaging in attempts to discredit reputations is appalling. I speak from experience because it was done to me. Yet, I refuse to be a bystander to this type of bullying. Sevastopol is better than this!

You have a choice, voters, you can chose to be better or you can chose to be bitter. With Behme/Todey Sevastopol can continue to keep getting better with proven leadership.

 

Margaret Wepner
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

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