Lackluster? After reading last week’s front page of the Review, all I could say was “ouch.” In an article detailing District 91’s efforts to investigate students suspected of border jumping, my company’s performance was described as “lackluster” and “taking too long.”

Back in December, I made a proposal to perform investigations for the district. My main selling points were my passion to prevent outsiders from stealing our services and my long familiarity with the community.

So, the district gave me and another company cases by which we could “audition” for the job. I used two ex-police officers, one of them a former District 91 student, to conduct an extensive investigation.

We received the assignment during the Christmas break and submitted a detailed report at the end of January. Fifteen and a half hours of background investigation and surveillance led us to the conclusion that the students did not live at the address they claimed in Forest Park.

The first notice I received from the district that I didn’t get the job was when I read the Review. I wasn’t disappointed with their decision but I thought it unprofessional that they didn’t call or write me. I also didn’t like my company being cast in such a negative light.

I’m not the only one. The other investigation firm was appalled that they were defamed without even being contacted by the district. They also have a passion for helping school districts with this problem and had proven that the students they investigated did not live in Forest Park.

Our outgoing superintendent Dr. Randolph Tinder believes our border-jumping problem is minimal. He may be right, but even one student sneaking in can cost us thousands, especially when they require special services.

Dr. Tinder was quoted as saying our investigation took too long. Well, by his standards it did. He claims to have investigated 15 cases in 80 hours–5.25 hours per case. With that kind of track record, he should consider a second career as a private detective.

Frankly, I don’t care who gets hired to perform the District 91 investigations, as long as they do a good job. I didn’t audition for financial reasons; I just wanted to keep border jumpers out.

My company has been in business since 1963. We’ve handled over 10,000 investigations. We don’t always get good results and sometimes we make mistakes. But it so happens that our District 91 investigation went well and achieved positive results.

I looked up lackluster in the dictionary. Perhaps one of the school board members could explain how it applies to the performance of my company. They don’t have to call; I’ll be at the next meeting.