From: Gretchen Michlitsch
Open letter to Superintendent Dahman and the District 861 School Board
On Monday night, those who attended the hearing about the potential closing of Madison Elementary School were prevented from speaking the three minutes they were each allowed until 9 p.m. This is unacceptable.
Please hold a new, on-time school closing hearing for Madison Elementary.
The original proposed hearing would have been at 7 p.m. on a school night out at the middle school. The rescheduled meeting for March 20 was set to begin at 7:30, which is already late for parents of elementary students who have responsibilities on a school night.
When people arrived for the 7:30 meeting, where they expected to be able to speak — to share their own perspectives in the allotted three minutes or less — the superintendent and the School Board were not ready for them. The hearing, which in no way began at the announced time, was finally called to order at about 8:30 and those who were still present at 8:40 got to listen for 20 minutes to a biased presentation. Those who were still present at 9 p.m. finally had an opportunity to address the School Board. Madison families who were present at 7:30 had certainly not expected to wait until 9 p.m. before even the first person was allowed to share his perspective with the School Board and a number of people had to leave without having the opportunity to speak.
This is unprofessional and unacceptable.
Please demonstrate reasonable respect for our community and for our public school families and hold a new meeting, preferably at Madison Elementary, and preferably at a reasonable hour.
Indeed, to be fair, time should be made available for those who wish to make a structured presentation of the reasons not to close the school.
Demonstrate to us that you can do the right thing.
The future of our schools is a very important matter and we need to get it right.