BUSD Trustees To Hold “Special Meeting” At 3:00 pm

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In a surprise move yesterday, the Brentwood Union School District Board of Trustees announced that they will host a closed session “Special meeting” today at 3:00 pm for a performance evaluation of Superintendent Merrill Grant followed by what they are labeling as “Discipline/Dismissal/Release”.

The meeting begins at 3:00 pm and will be located at the District Service Center on 255 Guthrie Lane in Brentwood.

Here is what the agenda says under Item 3

Closed Session

  • 3.0: Public Employee Performance Evaluation: Superintendent
  • 3.1: Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release

Full Agenda can be viewed on the BUSD Website

While the Board will report out of closed session, it would be prudent for the Board of Trustees to reconsider item 3.1 as closed session and instead make it a public discussion in order to earn back trust from the public—if they were to change their mind, this would push the meeting back to Monday at the earliest.

But today is perfect for the Board to finally act  for many reasons.

For starters, Friday’s are typically news drops for many organizations because it gives people who will ridicule a decision/announcement the weekend to calm down. Friday’s typically have fewer people paying attention while most importantly by Monday, the decision/announcement is typically already out of the news cycle.   Finally, most firings occur on Friday which could be a hint of what is coming this afternoon.  Having said that, from a strategic standpoint and perspective of the Board of Trustees, today is a very smart day to announce a District changing decision.

Still, the overall problems remain which is the lack of courtesy and transparency from the Board of Trustees.  They could have done a better job in announcing this meeting which as of last night, many stakeholders within the community had no idea this meeting was going to occur.

Having called this meeting with little notice and an alternative start time doesn’t build trust or relationship, it still looks suspect. It also ensures few people as possible will attend and ask questions.

For example, due to Item 3.0. and 3.1 being in closed session, what kind of backroom deals will be accepted in order for Superintendent Merrill Grant to keep his job? Will Principal Lauri James be made the scape goat to save Grant?  For that reason, 3.1 should be a public discussion by the Board.

I could see a situation this afternoon occurring where Merrill Grant is retained while Lauri James, Dina Holders and others are severely disciplined or dismissed.

Ultimately, while I don’t have to like the fact the Board is not offering total transparency, let’s hope a decision is made today where the parents of Brentwood can finally move on and let the healing begin.


3 COMMENTS

  1. I am so disappointed in this school boards lack of action – I am not a big letter writer, in the last 6 years that my children have been in the school district I have only written a letter to the school board twice, both over this issue. Here is what I sent below:

    Board Members,

    I am incredibly disappointed in your continued support of Merrill Grant as the Superintendent of our district. The board’s continued lack of action in publishing the results of the independent investigation and your lack of action in making any significant change appears as a stalling technique. There is no more patience in the community for your inaction. All of you, as the board, with the exception of Jim Cushing had this information in 2010. The Superintendent and the Board should of implemented the mandated reporting changes years ago, instead, you wait for the community to cry foul and express outrage and then you all move forward to make changes. We should not of had to cry foul as a community and be outraged, the board should of gotten ahead of this issue and come out with plans ahead of time.

    Many of you, when we talk to you directly, continue to preach transparency, but your words are meaningless when you hold last minute meetings and you fail to follow through on your promises of using the calling system to notify parents of an upcoming board meeting.

    Merrill Grant, and all of you by default, have allowed a systemic failure of our school system which is supposed to nurture, educate and protect our children. You, as board members, are continuing to allow a teacher and a Principal (directly supported by their own depositions) to be negligent in the law, negligent of district policies and who failed solely on a moral obligation to protect our children.

    In my last e-mail to all of you, I challenged you to clean the slate. To show us parents, that you are willing to make the tough decisions for positive change. That this board will NOT tolerate the school administration at any level (teacher, student, administrator) to allow abuse in our schools. Your continued lack of action leads me to believe that you are really not interested in making the change. If this is the case moving forward, I would advocate that all of you be recalled from your position as school board members.

    Jana Aubert

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