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School board keeps residents in the dark

I would like to comment on the on-going negotiations between the Deer Lakes School Board and the teachers’ union. My husband and I have been a part of this community for nine years and we have two children in the district. As parents we have a vested interest in these negotiations. We have gotten involved at the last two board meetings by asking questions and have been met by much resistance by the board to discuss the situation. As taxpayers and parents we have the right to know where the board stands.

The teachers have made their position clear by doing informational picketing, to the dismay of many parents. But how else are we to know• And what about our children• They are left to wonder with the rest of us whether or not they will be in school next week.

We are fortunate enough to have some very fine teachers in this district and the board needs to wake up before we start losing them. I would not blame them one bit if they were using their sick time to look for jobs elsewhere. I stand by the teachers at this point because the board has given us nothing to go on.

At last Monday’s board meeting Ray Sekula, district solicitor, made it perfectly clear that there would be no comments made on the negotiations and the board’s position at this time. Many angry parents spoke out and asked questions that he blatantly refused to answer. The board maintains that they want to avoid a strike as much as the parents and the teachers. But what about Mr. Sekula• His interests lie in his wallet. If they settle, he is out of a paycheck. This contract has been in negotiations for one year with no resolution in sight, and in that time Mr. Sekula has banked about $13,200 of our money. Obviously, he is in no hurry at $90 per hour with a $500 retainer.

I urge Superintendent King and the board to get rid of Mr. Sekula and negotiate this contract on your own. After all, Superintendent Carr was able to do it without Mr. Sekula’s “expertise” and, lo and behold, no strike.

Anita Ventura, West Deer


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