As quoted in the Herald_Time article on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2011, the following is the text of a statement Monroe County Community School Corp. board member Jeannine Butler read at Tuesday night’s school board meeting:
Up until now, I have chosen not to engage in any response to allegations and misinformation from Mr. Knox. However, his guest editorial in Monday’s paper was a personal attack on me, my integrity and the work of this board. I therefore feel a need to say some things to Mr. Knox in a public forum.
With respect to the budget crisis and decision made last spring, this board made decisions based on the best available information and recommendations from our administrative team. I believe that with every discussion, and subsequent decision made, I and the board had the best interest of the school community and the students at the forefront. The referendum was not a mistake, and the outcome of that referendum will provide a better future for the students and staff of MCCSC.
Any legal expenses on my watch have come from your lawsuit against this district. The lawsuit wasn’t necessary because we agreed with the public access counselor that we erred by not using the appropriate numbers and language on the notice. Having to pay our legal fees and your legal fees is unfortunate and could have been avoided. These are dollars that could have been better spent to serve the district.
This board, and the MCCSC staff, particularly administrators, have had time taken from their duties by an overwhelming number of e-mails and visits from you. You have repeatedly shown up in central office and our schools demanding time with the superintendent, other central office administrators, principals, and have even shown up unannounced and uninvited at some of the principals’ homes. And, you have used the MCEA (Monroe County Education Association) building reps list-serve to send e-mails to MCEA members. Many of us have tried to work with you. Because we don’t agree and/or follow your every suggestion, you have become angry. However you forget that we have many individuals who are involved in this district who have provided us with a wealth of information and who also have asked for our time. As a board we take all the information and include it in our decisions. You are one of hundreds that we hear from. There is only so much time we can give a single individual without neglecting our duties. Your editorial indicated that you were going to now limit your involvement in school affairs. I would suggest that you consider a more appropriate way to continue to be involved in a positive way with this district.
Finally, no one sitting up here has anything but the best of intentions. We each give a great deal of our time on a weekly basis. While some may not like my decisions and some may not even like me, I have always believed in the value of public education in a democratic society and have tried to make decisions that serve the greater good. I have served this school community for many years, and I am sure that I have made mistakes. However, I have always tried to keep the students and the educators who teach them my No. 1 priority. I resent having my integrity challenged and my service to this community portrayed as self-serving. It is not, has never been and will never be. And I believe that the board that has served this community tirelessly in the past year has made decisions that were honest, open and based on the best information we had. It is time to move forward and hire the best superintendent to lead this great district and I plan to be a part of that path in the next four years.