Unexpected Reply to “Who is Sean Thomas?”

If you read my last post Who is Sean Thomas? I ended it with the statement,

“I don’t really expect a response from this one either.”

I really didn’t but an unexpected reply was received last night. Since so many of you have read that post I assumed you would want to see this too. His response as well as mine, written this morning, are shown below. I don’t think any additional comments are needed.

UPDATE: Since the original post this story and blog was mentioned in a news story on WDHN on 9/28/16. You can see that story here Enterprise school superintendent’s contract set to end; concerned residents call for non-renewal Continue reading Unexpected Reply to “Who is Sean Thomas?”

Who is Sean Thomas?

No, this isn’t a Jeopardy answer, although that might fit. I think To Tell The Truth fits this story better.

I received an email yesterday morning with the subject Enterprise Schools supposedly from a “parent with students in your system”. It was sent at 10:21 but I did not see it until yesterday afternoon. The email wasn’t addressed To me. I was copied though. It was addressed to all the school board members and Greg Faught. The email is from someone I had never heard of prior to this email, named Sean Thomas, or was it?

UPDATE: Since the original post this story and blog was mentioned in a news story on WDHN on 9/28/16. You can see that story here Enterprise school superintendent’s contract set to end; concerned residents call for non-renewal Continue reading Who is Sean Thomas?

“You Can’t Please Everyone”

Community Forum

Take Back Enterprise held a community forum on Monday night, 8/24/15, attended by over 100 folks where the vision and purpose of the organization was shared and questions were asked and answered. Since the meeting was pretty well covered by local news media from Dothan and Enterprise I had not planned on writing about it. Continue reading “You Can’t Please Everyone”

An Eventful Year In Enterprise

350px-boll_weevil_monumentThree of my four most recent blogs began as one but I decided it would be best if I split them up to be able to cover the subjects as I really wanted to cover them. It would have been one really long blog if I hadn’t and probably wouldn’t have made much sense. I hope you think that was a good idea too.

Since I really don’t have anything new to say on this subject at the moment (subject to change at any time) I thought I would just summarize and include references to them all here for convenience in case anyone did not get a chance to see all of them or wanted to see any of them again or share them with someone else.

An Eventful Year

This post chronicles the major events as I saw them that occurred from late 2013 until early 2015, beginning with the Capital Plan created by Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood during the term of the interim superintendent, the hiring of the new superintendent, to the addendum to her contract in March this year. You can read more here An Eventful Year.

35 Days? Not Necessarily

This post focused on the 1/2 cent sales tax increase and when I believe it originated, which was well before the date it was announced to the public as an option and the best solution in June of 2014. You can read more here 35 Days? Not Necessarily.

The Silenced Majority

This post talks about the elephant in the room in Enterprise that no one seems to want to or feels they can talk about, the suppression of freedom of expression regarding issues that affect them or the gag order in place in Enterprise, however you want to characterize it. You can read more here The Silenced Majority.

Take Back Enterprise

This post was not part of that initial post but when I heard about this group I felt it fit in well with the other posts as it gives citizens a way to take action and make changes if they choose to do so. You can read more here Take Back Enterprise.

Until next time…

Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 4/04/2015

YOU Are Not Alone

we-are-enterprise-logo-150x150A little over a week ago I published a post called Watch Your Back. In that post I asked for feedback both positive and negative as feedback is the only way I know whether my thoughts and observations have any validity or not. I mentioned I would be happy to post a follow up if feedback indicated I was on the wrong path. Well, this is that post.

Most widely read post I have ever published

Watch Your Back was the most widely read post I have published so far. Continue reading YOU Are Not Alone

I Agree

We Are Enterprise

Have you ever had one of “those” moments…when someone else expresses the feelings or beliefs that you share but have never expressed to anyone verbally, except maybe your wife, as I have? Well, that just happened for me.

At the most recent Enterprise City School Board Meeting on September 24th, Perry Vickers spoke and expressed feelings I share and I suspect many other have had and share over the past few months since this issue became public in June. Continue reading I Agree

Overtime!

We Are EnterpriseI did not plan for this subject to be an ongoing series but since this is now my third post on the subject I guess it now qualifies for that status. Much like Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Stinnett expressed at the most recent board meeting they did not want to be there speaking the hard truths and asking the hard questions, I did not want to write this.

However, the story continues and continues to be compelling to me and the hundreds of interested and involved citizens who care enough to continue to attend the Enterprise City School Board meetings each month to support Enterprise City Schools. Continue reading Overtime!

Shadow of Doubt

We Are Enterprise LogoBeyond the shadow of a doubt is a standard of proof that is almost impossible to reach. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard needed in most litigation. Shadow of A Doubt is also a 1943 movie by director Alfred Hitchcock. Sadly, shadow of doubt is the cloud that now covers every action of the Enterprise City School Board.

When the news of the called board meeting for Monday at 3:00 PM was posted or learned last weekend, the first thought that I had and the first comment I heard from many who mentioned the meeting was, “I wonder why they scheduled it for that time?” Then there was either a snicker or a ‘wink wink’ because everyone knew what they were thinking. Some expressed the thought verbally, or in writing on social networks, “so the crowd at the meeting would be smaller since many people working would not be able to attend.”

I am not alleging that is the reason for the time of the meeting. There could be very valid reasons for scheduling the meeting at 3:00 in the afternoon and not at the normal evening time of 6:00 when the regular monthly board meeting is held. That is not the point I am trying to communicate.

The fact that that so many had a question or doubt or suspicion about the motive behind the timing of the meeting is the point.

Scrutiny is different than suspicion

Both scrutiny and suspicion start with an ‘s’ but that is where the similarities end. Scrutiny is defined as a searching study, inquiry, or inspection, a searching look, a close watch. Suspicion is defined as the act or an instance of suspecting something wrong without proof or on slight evidence – mistrust, a state of mental uneasiness and uncertainty – doubt.

We, as citizens and parents, should scrutinize the decisions of any school board through the lens of – is this decision, whatever it is, in the best interest of the students first, then the school system. If decisions are made with those criteria as guidelines then they will also be what are good for the city.

In case anyone is unaware, the school system is what draws many to the city of Enterprise which, in turn, adds to the city’s sales tax and property tax revenues.

However, we should not need to be suspicious of any decision the board makes because there is a reasonable level of doubt, whether we can prove the suspicion or not, that every decision was not made with these criteria as the filter.

Logic behind my perspective

I don’t pretend to speak for anyone but myself but do believe that my perspective on this situation is not uncommon. My opinion is derived from what I have read, seen, and heard regarding this situation over the past few weeks. Every decision this board makes is now looked on with suspicion as to the motives behind the decision because there is a definite lack of trust between many of the parents and citizens of Enterprise and the school board.

When I do not have first-hand knowledge about any issue I look to those who do have knowledge and “skin in the game” so to speak. Regarding the school board issue, I tend to agree more with those that have worked in the school system for many years that helped to make the Enterprise City School System one of the best in the state and have spoken out on these issues.

They have been directly involved with the school system and issues in question now and have more first-hand knowledge of the people involved and the situation than me. Their history and records validate their desire for only what is in the best interest of the students and school system going forward. They really have nothing to gain by speaking out except to try to ensure the school system they love keeps moving in the right direction – forward. That seems logical to me.

We all have skin in the game

However, just for clarification, every current student, former student, teacher, administrator, support staff, parent, and anyone who cares enough to show up at these board meetings has “skin in the game” too. My hope is that we all keep showing up to show our support for our school system.

Honest disagreements with common goals and motives are good

We can and will have honest disagreements with how to achieve a goal but if our motives and goals are the same, those disagreements and discussion will be constructive and lead to the best decision instead of just a good decision. It doesn’t appear the motives and goals are in sync now between the board and the citizens so these type discussions cannot even occur.

July 8, 2013 School Board Meeting

This meeting was no more than going through the motions, literally and figuratively. There was no information shared with the public regarding how the interim superintendent and attorney were selected or about the process the board plans to follow to find a new superintendent. It seems to me that would have been reasonable information to share unless there is some reason not to share it. The school board chose not to share.

Sharing information “could” help

Information like this shared freely with the public “could” have an impact on the rumors that continue to surround the board and could, over time, build trust where none exists now. The best way to squelch rumors is to provide factual information that refutes or negates the rumors. If those facts “hurt someone’s feelings” then so be it.

Failure to share is a choice this board continues to make. Failure to share more information about these appointments, the search for a new superintendent, as well as the events that led to the need to appoint an interim superintendent and attorney just continues to perpetuate the rumors and distrust. The school board has chosen not to share.

As long as the school board continues to make the choice not to share they will continue to serve under a shadow of doubt. It puzzles me as to why they would want to serve under this cloud and choose not to be more forthcoming with information. They do have choices.

Until next time…

Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 7/12/2013

 

 

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