To the editor:
Let me get this straight, the School Committee is alluding that the reason for Dr. Buckey’s dismissal was due to the girls soccer coach controversy?
“The minutes speak for themselves” is the quote by Chairwoman Sarah Fox. Please point out those minutes and any evidence that these issues were due to Dr. Buckey’s mishandling of this situation. From reported stories concerning this issue, there were meetings with parents, the student athlete, principal, athletic director and superintendent. Concerns/frustrations were brought forth at first of playing time, roster placement, communications with coach and athletic director of allegations of favoritism. Nothing at the time was mentioned of “bullying or hostile environment.” Dr. Buckey stated he had not heard anything about a complaint about bullying until a complaint was filed in October. At that point, Paula Donnelly informed Dr. Buckey she was hiring an independent investigator to pursue the complaint.
The investigator spent several weeks interviewing 11 families, including five current and former players and assistant coaches. The coach was not asked back for the fall season. As we all know an investigation is not completed overnight. As the nightly news showcases, it takes time!
So where is there any evidence that Dr. Buckey, Mr. Bauer or the athletic director tried stonewalling the investigation? It seems to this “stakeholder,” that all avenues were addressed.
Have issues of policy been brought to the attention of the administration and School Committee to be addressed, yes. Issues will arise in all avenues of running a town or city and steps will be implemented to correct them or update them. This town has gone through more superintendents than most districts. Most of you have sat in these seats on and off through the years, I bet you didn’t realize that some things had to be updated as in the athletic department. Marblehead School District has had its share of instability for years. This affects the morale of teachers, staff, students, parents and taxpayers.
Dr. Buckey stepped into his role as superintendent (which three, maybe four of you voted for him, three short years ago) after years of instability. I believe he went methodically step by step to identify the immediate concerns facing our school district to bring us up to date with state guidelines. Teachable hours, new curriculum, grading system, technology, building confidence with schools. Again, this is not achieved overnight. Something called Covid or the pandemic creeped into everyone’s lives. Some experienced devastating heartbreak, where for others it was just a nuance. Where we had to work from home and a more common word was used called remote learning. Many of us had to pivot, but had no idea how, when, where and for what extent of time we would be pivoting.
We are not the only district that is having difficulties with incorporating new changes. I have called around other districts. I think the new way of teaching math is stupid, grading is mind boggling and how parents want more recess but no homework I again do not understand. They want more family time. First try taking away their phones, switches, video games. Computers are for homework assignments.
Do I blame Dr. Buckey, no! If we have to blame something, it’s changing with the times. As far as I have seen, these changes have made life more difficult, more divisive, less caring, more bullying and a bad example for our children. Who is to blame? Look in the mirror, it’s not Dr. Buckey, but each and every one of us. Transparency is the first step. Then each step after is to forge ahead and do what is best for the children, and The Good People of Marblehead.
Dr. Buckey, thank you for your hard work, sweat and tears you have spent over the last three years. I am sorry you are the causality for the townspeople to open their eyes, minds and hearts to do what is right.