LETTER: How did we get here?

To the editor:

As I unpack everything that has transpired over the last few weeks concerning The School Committee and Dr. Buckey’s resignation, I keep coming back to the same question: How did we get here?

As Wednesday’s School Committee meeting approached, it felt like Dr. Buckey was walking to the gallows with hundreds of people in attendance. It felt icky. Is this how we want to treat people? Is this the precedent we want to set with the School Committee moving forward, that they can terminate a superintendent without cause without a full committee eligible to vote? That seems like an incredible breach of power.

Like or dislike Dr Buckey, agree or disagree with him, I think most people can see that this process was bad and a bad look for our town and public school community. I don’t understand how we can have a functional and effective School Committee when one of the members has to recuse themself because of the personal grievance they filed against Dr. Buckey (which was not disclosed until the bitter end — an unbelievable conflict of interest), which leads to the most obvious point: How and why is it okay to conduct such a hugely impactful vote with four people?

And on top of that, many (if not all?) sitting School Committee members were elected into their positions under the platform of transparency. I understand that there are certain things the public is not privy to, but it is very clear that in this instance, the lens of transparency fell to the wayside.

I want to believe in our elected committee members, and I want to know that they have education in the forefront of their decisions, but this just doesn’t feel right.

I also am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact this is all happening five weeks before the start of the school year, with so much turnover already happening in all of our schools and leadership. All this is doing is perpetuating chaos instead of holding onto stability.

I am struggling with the financial implications this will have on our town. The search three years ago cost the town around $250,000 — money that could be used for education, teachers, building-level needs.

I want to know what will be done differently this time around? With two sitting committee members who were on the previous search committee and hired Dr. Buckey and then turned around and three years later terminated, what will change in the process so we aren’t back here every few years?

Plain and simple, I don’t like how this was handled. I am wary of the collateral damage that will come from this, which leads me back to my initial question: How did we get here?

And this urges me to ask people to go out and vote. Learn about the candidates and what they are standing for; understand how your vote matters — because it does.

Bit Coppola

Beverly Avenue

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