Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Time to put divisiveness to rest

Congratulations are due to the Reynolds School District administrators and teachers for successfully bringing to an end the weeklong strike over a contract dispute.

Even more than the teachers and administrators, students are the big winners. This resolution means children are back in the classroom and the district is back to doing what it should have been doing all along - providing young people with the life skills they need to prosper.

The full teachers union was scheduled to vote on the tentative contract today, Wednesday, May 30. Presuming all goes as planned, the contract will be formally ratified before day's end.

Now, with the messy business of the strike behind us, the teachers and the administration must immediately begin the chore of mending fractured relationships.

Given the hurtful things that were said during the strike, it would be difficult to envision that anyone on either side can simply go back to work as if it never happened.

We hope the people who found themselves so sharply divided can look for positive ways to move forward, keeping in mind their shared mission of educating children.

With that in mind, The Outlook is disheartened to learn that some people just cannot let go of the divisiveness. A page has materialized on Facebook to organize a recall of the Reynolds School Board. The Outlook has not been able to confirm if that recall targets one or all of the board members.

Regardless, any such recall effort will only serve to inflame the divisions that already exist.

Sadly, most recall initiatives represent a misuse of the process by people who simply don't like the choices of one or more elected official. If that were the benchmark for all recall elections, then the public would be confronted with a recall decision every other week.

In reality, the wise application of the recall process allows the general public to police its government - school boards included - for instances of criminal behavior or serious lapses of moral and ethical judgment.

In this case, the Reynolds School Board is simply an easy target for people who are upset with the length and tone of the contract negotiations. An effort to remove school board members won't erase the fact that teachers chose to strike, which was their right.

With the contract now settled, it doesn't make sense to recall any of the sitting board members. We would rather see any changes to the board handled through the normal election cycle, which would be far less costly and less hurtful than trying to force someone out of office midterm.

The energy that would be spent on a recall initiative could be more productively applied toward establishing a collaborative relationship between the teachers union and the school board - a relationship that would help avoid the very problems that led to this strike in the first place.



Local Weather

Cloudy

61°F

Gresham

Cloudy

Humidity: 78%

Wind: 14 mph

  • 25 Nov 2014

    Showers 57°F 50°F

  • 26 Nov 2014

    Mostly Cloudy 60°F 52°F