Your Views: District settlement sends the wrong message
Two things are troublesome regarding the recent Janesville School District settlement with Dennis Hughes.
1) “What you permit, you promote” is a key principle in our “Journey to Excellence.” While it may have been less costly to settle with Dennis Hughes, the real cost is unmeasurable. The district has sent a message to its superintendent, staff, teachers and even board members that if you are subjected to malicious lies and name calling, they may not stand behind you. Sometimes you need to stand up for principles, even if it costs more.
2) Board member Cathy Myers recused herself from a recent meeting. Why not all of the times before? Hughes is a personal friend of board members Carla Quirk and Myers (according to their own statements), and he is the one who filed the candidacy paperwork for Quirk and was responsible for her election by getting two other candidates removed from the ballot. Roger Merry is Hughes’ attorney and also was Quirk’s attorney in a “hit and run” case. Myers also disclosed at the time that Merry was her “live-in partner.” So, while the board had meetings in closed session to discuss the Hughes matter, Myers is participating, even though she is in a relationship with the attorney of the opposition! The lawyers can figure out what is legal, but I don’t see how it was appropriate for either one to take part in these discussions.
Bill Sodeman is a former member of the Janesville School Board.