letter to Editor, 5-31-2003

Mars had it right, but named wrong guy

Concerning your May 24 editorial, "Let's return perspective to Duluth's education needs," you stated, in regrard to the firing of Mike Randolph as East High School hockey coach, that School Board Chairman Bob Mars had it right.

It's debatable whether Mars was accurate; it is nearly impossible to make the case that he was "right." I do not believe that board policy condones placement of anonymous accusations in a personnel file. I also believe that individuals entering a file must sign and date those entries. Employees of the district are also evaluated on a regular basis, but not in this case. If I'm correct, then policy has been violated and hence Randolph has not been treated fairly. If policy allows treatment of an employee in this manner, then it would be board obligation to change it, not, as in Mars' case, defend it.

Was Mars right? Was Randolph treated fairly? I have yet to meet anyone who believes that this was the case.

Mistakes were made in this process, but the administration should bear the brunt of the responsibility for them. The School Board shouldn't hide behind the veil of noninvolvement. It's the board's obligation to scrutinize the administration and policy and make the necessary corrections.

As to priorities: The hockey boosters aren't confused; their priorities are in perfect order. They deserve no chastisement by your editorial board, even though their perspective differs from yours.

You're correct that cooler heads have been shaking -- but at Mars' statements and the remaining board members' silence.

Mars recently stated to me that many people think it was time for Randolph to go. He's right about someone needing to go
he's just got the wrong name.


The writer is a former member of the Duluth School Board.