Lesson: We’re all replaceable
Dear Editor: Please forgive my ignorance on these matters, but if you would, please indulge me for a moment, because I am relatively new to Aspen and perhaps a bit naive. As I read the article yesterday and today about Travis Benson being asked to step down from the head football coach position, I find myself wondering if this is how things are done here in Aspen. Do people really think this is OK and business as usual?I always try to understand these things by making them personal. What if your boss asked you to step down from your position so that s/he could bring in someone to mentor you? What if that person was your boss’s spouse?Are people that dispensable in Aspen? Are the people in Aspen really going to stand by and allow Travis, who has put his heart and soul into his job, to be set aside in this manner?My heart literally hurts when I think about this. As to the idea that there are other husband-wife pairs at the school, there is no question about that. But when has a qualified teacher ever been asked to be demoted to a teacher’s aide so that somebody’s spouse could be brought in?It’s not a question of what’s best for the students. There is always somebody with more talent, education, charisma, etc. It’s a question of human value and honoring hard work and dedication. If we demoted everybody as soon as we found somebody better, Diana Sirko would not have a job, because she would be demoted as soon as the school board found a district more successful than Aspen (and they do exist, by the way). And perhaps the school board should consider this option, because it is my understanding that we ALL want what’s best for our students. Isn’t that right, Diana?So, what is the lesson learned here? School is about education, so let’s consider how this translates into the classroom. Students should be taught to understand that we are all disposable. Teachers need to be told that they can stop telling students that they have value for who they are, because integrity, character and individuality don’t really matter anymore. I think it’s time to do away with tenure. As a person, you do not matter. We can all be replaced, and the sooner we learn that, the better. Especially here in Aspen.Paul DankersAspen
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Facing a nearly more than $700,000 shortfall in transportation funding, Upper Roaring Fork Valley elected officials decided to dip into their savings account to continue all funding commitments for a year.