Editorial: Admit mistakes, come together and move ahead

Published 10:04 am Friday, November 4, 2016

It has been an emotional week in Albert Lea.

Whether you have a student in Albert Lea Area Schools or not, it is clear the tension is high amongst parents, community leaders and other residents going into next week’s general election and with the announcement that Deputy Superintendent Lori Volz has accepted a position in Mankato.

While we’d like to think this tension would fade away after the general election on Tuesday, we recognize that this likely won’t be the case.

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Where did this tension begin?

Looking back, it seems this tension began with a proposal to change the district calendar, and it has only gotten worse in the months that have passed.

Whether you have been for or against the calendar changes or for or against other administrative decisions, it is important to recognize that these decisions involve our community’s children.

We understand why people have gotten emotional because our children are some of the greatest assets in our community — and they are our future. Their education is vital, not only academically but to their development in life, as well.

Differences of opinions have been expressed both in word and through other means, but it is important that both administration and community members realize that this difference of opinion can be expressed civilly, without personal attacks and with professionalism in mind.

Have their been mistakes? Yes.

There have been mistakes on all sides of this debate.

But until everyone involved is able to accept responsibility for their own actions, take a step back, apologize for mistakes or hurt feelings and then move ahead, the discord being felt in our community right now will continue.

We commend whoever may be willing to take that first step forward.

Looking ahead, we ask that the calendar issue be set aside for at least a year. Give the community time to heal.

If in a year, the administration still would like to consider it, bring it up again, but this time let the community vote on it. Whatever choice wins, all sides must accept it and move forward.