Contrary to popular rumor, there is no chaos or widespread pain over the current debate about how to solve some differences of opinion about education and administrative policy in Scarborough. Three thousand kids go off to school every day, where they are engaged by several hundred teachers.

There has reportedly been defamation, threat and invasion of privacy. And, I’m sure many of those in attendance at the April 25 Town Council hearing, on both sides of the issues, were heartsick at what quickly became something akin to the famous Salem witch trials, with three highly regarded Board of Education members (Donna Beeley, Cari Lyford and Jodi Shea) the subjects of a 4½-hour onslaught of debatable criticism. Fortunately. they were also the object of high praise from an equal number of speakers.

Somewhat ironically, the recall is intended to create an opportunity to elect folks who will be inclined to discharge Superintendent Julie Kukenberger, widely known to be extremely bright, gracious, knowledgeable and competent in an extremely complex and demanding job. The film “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” comes to mind.

There is a way to avoid the several major problems that will come if the recall passes, the understaffed Board of Education in the final throes of budget negotiations, a search for bullet-proof candidates and the high cost of removing and replacing a superintendent, not to mention a lot of leftover bad feelings among neighbors.

The way out is to defeat recall at the May 8 election and for the Board of Education to immediately call for a forum wherein all parties would thoughtfully and calmly offer their ideas for going forward on all the issues. Perhaps an outside moderator could preside.

Art DiMauro


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