Letter: Dysfunctional school board
November 22, 2015
In response to your article titled "Aspen School District meeting with Jewish parents gets tense" (The Aspen Times, Nov. 12), let me first say that the community has already proffered its cogent and piercing response to the district's callous decision-making process (see: articles by Meredith Carroll ("Jews don't need more lessons on sacrifice," Commentary, The Aspen Times, Nov. 16) and Zoe Cramer ("Ex Ed on Yom Kippur," The Skier Scribbler, The Aspen Times, Oct. 21). So permit me another tack.
While the conflict of academics and religion notably weighs upon those affected, it is clearly trivial to members of the board, as evidenced by Sheila Wills' appallingly bigoted commentary. Does Wills expect those in the Jewish community to be mollified by the fact that the board graciously allows their kids to use the same bathrooms and drinking fountains as the Christians? Though I hesitate to infer, Wills' words were, nonetheless, inane if not actionable. Were the University of Missouri football team not back on the gridiron, she would already be packing her bags. And to cite conflicts with the International Baccalaureate exam docket and football schedule as the underpinnings for the particular timing of Ex Ed is both specious and illogical. First, the high school has more Jews than football players (40) — Cameron Seltzer and Roman Rosenthal might be double-counted; Michael O'Callahan not so much — and second, International Baccalaureate exams were already used as the rationale for shifting Ex Ed from the spring. So the next time the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars collide (2018), put the onus on the athletes or International Baccalaureate students, but as Moses beseeched, "Let my people go" — wander the desert in Utah, or surf in San Diego.
The recent school board election has sadly fortified the very dysfunction that engenders these kinds of problems. In September we welcomed our fifth high school principal in as many years; next year, I am told, our students will be subjected to the fourth scheduling experiment of the lustrum. The time has come for the board to increase the depth of their involvement; gliding over concrete problems by maintaining some philosophical policy-based orbit is no longer tenable.
Adam Z. Cherry
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