Editorial: Find a solution to ease tension on school board

Published 8:37 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018

We think most people will agree there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy dialogue.

In fact, we encourage our local government board members to ask questions, not only of their fellow board members, but also of the administration of the various entities, as well.

In return, we expect fellow board members and administration to answer each others’ questions — and we expect all to do so with respect, both in the response and tone in which that response is given, whether in public meetings or otherwise.

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The problem escalates when personality conflicts or previous unresolved disagreements and hurt feelings get in the way of a healthy decorum.

We believe that is the case at the Albert Lea school board meetings, where tension has been thick, not only in recent meetings, but for many months.

At this past Monday’s school board meeting, that strain was especially evident as one member wanted to ask questions about a few items on the board’s consent agenda.

Statements were made that the board member should have asked the questions ahead of time, and there were allegations that when that board member tries to ask questions ahead of time her questions aren’t answered.

This went back and forth for several minutes before the board could move forward with the remainder of the agenda.

While it’s fine for the school board and administration to disagree — even passionately — it seemed like making a mountain out of a molehill and set off the tone for the rest of the meeting.

We’re not saying who is right or wrong. We simply wish that all board members and administration show respect, not only in what you say but in how you say it.

Remember the example your actions set, not only for our adult community but our children, as well. We know it may be easier said than done, but let bygones be bygones, and move forward in a spirit of collaboration.