There’s good news and bad news at WBCSD

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There are many examples of generosity in West Bonner School District No. 83 by wonderful staff and businesses/community members. The first two years of the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant, Priest River Event Center/Merritt family donated its facilities for a “Gratitude Dinner.” It hosted approximately 146 people. Ninety-one of them were folks we thanked for donating time, assistance or funds to the program. The rest were students who benefited from the benevolence of good people. My kids’ careers and successes are results of selflessness, professionalism, dedication and ethical/moral role modeling they received from wonderful people they were exposed to at WBCSD.

Unfortunately there is a dark side to WBCSD. In 2013 a grievance was filed by 11 women who had worked at the Junior High which outlines 15 detailed paragraphs of abuse. If you send a self-addressed envelope to PO Box 543, Priest River, Idaho I will supply you a copy. It demonstrates that there were 4 staff at the JH who for years relentlessly harassed, intimidated and abused students and women there. The grievance was substantiated by a private investigator hired by the school district, at a cost of over $8,031.25, yet no one was fired. One of the 4, although on probation, was promoted and given over a $30,000 a year raise less than a year later and became boss of the people he had harassed. He continues to get substantial raises each year while he tells classified staff that the district cannot afford to give employees with over 20 years experience raises.

The good people of this town who give, support, go beyond expectations, who show up, arrive early, stay late and live ethical and moral lives should expect the same from everyone we entrust our kids to. We expect it of ourselves don’t we? Why not demand it from the people we pay with our hard earned tax dollars? Three of the four teachers worked out in the weight room every day during their prep time which is a class period paid to teachers to prepare classes or meet with students or parents needing one on one time. How do you feel about paying them to work out? This is another rip off of our tax dollars. You and our town can choose to accept and ignore this or you can write a letter to the school board and make a complaint. Public rage is the only thing that will change this. You can pretend that this has not happened and hope the way these people treated women and children in the building never happens to you, your daughter, mother or sister. And the next time WBCSD#83 tells us it needs a levy perhaps some of us may feel more inclined to lend our support if we feel heard.

BETTY GARDNER

Priest River

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