The Rutland City Public School Commission has 11 members and as one might suspect, we have trouble speaking with a unified voice.

After a lengthy discussion on Feb. 26 in executive session, I can report that the School Board in open session authorized the chair to take limited steps to attempt to identify and develop a plan which takes into account all the stakeholders' concerns regarding recent events.

I am writing this letter as an individual and not as a School Board member. I respect the First Amendment, transparency, due process and the need for public trust. Unfortunately, the competing principles can make for delayed, disjointed and imperfect results. The chain of command cannot be an excuse for delay and inaction.

As a concrete step, (call me a micro-manager if you like), I will propose at the next School Board meeting that we change the chain of command and have the HR manager report directly to the School Board. I would also support expanding the HR manager's job duties to include investigative powers regarding public safety and/or other major concerns raised by the public, teachers, students and other stakeholders.

I am open to other suggestions but my concern is that we must take swift action to rebuild public trust and having the HR manager report directly to the School Board should allow all the stakeholders to know that the School Board wants to address major concerns quickly and fairly.

Kam Johnston

Rutland City

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