It has been long known that the school board of District 209 failed our students until the change in the school board last year.

Then somehow, a new majority recently appeared and tried to reduce the presidency term. It does not make sense to me, considering what has been accomplished in the past year by the new president.

As appalled as I am with this proposal, I am most disturbed by the behavior of some of the board members exhibited at the meeting. The accompanying photo was captured at the board meeting on April 12 when the board was discussing this particular controversial agenda item. As you see, the four board members at the front were focusing on the conversation, while the other two on the left were focusing on their phone. This happened not for a second or two but for an extended length of time. I later learned that this is a long-standing behavior, exhibited by some board members. 

I understand our gadgets can be distracting. But a member is expected to be at a meeting to engage, to discuss, to build consensus and/or to make decisions. How can one possibly be an effective participant when their mind is not there? When he/she is not aware or present at the moment? When he is too busy with the phone, it’s as if he has something more important to do than listen to anybody in that room.  

This is arrogant and disrespectful.

This is disruptive and insulting. 

We keep asking ourselves why our students fail. We don’t need to look any further. The behavior of these two board members gives us the answer.  

This is dumbing down our community.  

This is unacceptable and unendurable. 

It is time to end. 

Rina Peterson

Forest Park

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