Since its publication, I have spoken with the author of this editorial, Russell Wangersky, who indicated that he did not read my letter to the school board trustees prior to condemning its contents.
Rather than requesting that elected school board trustees refrain from commenting on matters of public concern, as Mr. Wangersky suggested, my letter to the board explicitly stated that trustees have every right to publicly advocate for issues of public concern. However, parents who entrust their children to the public education system should be able to trust in the accuracy of information shared publicly by public officials, including elected school board trustees.
When this is not the case, as evidenced by recent trustee comments regarding Mobile Central High School, it is my responsibility as minister of Education to ask elected trustees to stick to facts rather than causing unnecessary anxiety for parents through misinformation.
We should have public debate regarding public education — the more the better — but misinformed commentary does not enrich the quality of public education. The public expects more of elected officials, as they should.
Dale Kirby, MHA
District of Mount Scio
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
Editor’s note: A followup editorial was published in The Telegram Oct. 5.