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ISD 197 School Board and District Officials Insensitive, Indifferent or Incompetent

Superintendent selection process flawed!

The West St. Paul- Mendota Heights - Eagan School Board selected semi-final candidates last Thursday for the position of superintendent. They scheduled and held interviews for three candidates on Friday evening and three more candidates on Saturday morning. Interviews were held at Sibley High School and were open to the public.

The school district staff and the school board members should have known better then to hold such important interviews to which the public was invited on a Friday night and Saturday morning, the Jewish Sabbath.  One would hope that they at a minimum would know it was the Jewish Sabbath and that a number of engaged constituents would not be able to attend.  There is no other way to spin this; either they were insensitive, indifferent or incompetent.

The ISD 197 School Board and District officials owe an apology do those in the Jewish community who by reason of their religious beliefs were excluded from this part of the selection process.

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Reine Shiffman March 21, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I agree with Tom. Having been a school board member during a superintendent search process I know that it's not easy finding convenient times when board members and candidates can get together, so on that level I emphasize. I also know that in the past the school board has taken the initiative to confirm whether an important activity or program conflicts with a major religious event. Just because there is no one Jewish on the school board to object is no excuse to exclude those Jews who celebrate the Sabbath on Friday night and Saturday morning from sitting in on the interviews. At a time when our society is becoming less tolerant of those whose religious or cultural beliefs are not in the majority, I would expect that those responsible for our children's education rise above that.
Donald Lee February 01, 2013 at 04:35 PM
This is an unnecessarily harsh assessment. Scheduling this sort of thing is never easy. Many factors are usually considered, and many schedules must line up. The fact that the Jewish sabbath was not honored was probably simple oversight. It may also have been that alternatives were for some reason unacceptable. Maybe a member of the school board can weigh in and explain the scheduling choices.

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