Reader asks new school board chair to step aside


To the Editor: I was very disappointed on Monday of this week (Sept. 15) when the “new” Williamson County School Board elected Mark Gregory as chair.

To the Editor:

I was very disappointed on Monday of this week (Sept. 15) when the “new” Williamson County School Board elected Mark Gregory as chair.

I am saddened by the lack of awareness the new board members demonstrated in regard to the impact their decision will have, not only with the district employees, but the entire community. One has to call into question the judgment and values of someone who comes up with an idea like the Buttle Opener and is also charged, as an elected official, to serve and represent the approximately 17,000 female students and the predominately female work force in the Williamson County School District.

According to Mr. Gregory’s statement, “This invention is a non-issue and does not affect my ability to govern or interact with the board.” Nevertheless, what he evidently fails to see and acknowledge is the lack of respect his product clearly demonstrates, not only to females, but also to young men who are learning how to be respectful of women and what message this sends to the community at large.

Mr. Gregory has signed the Code of Ethics of the board each year and it clearly states in Article VI, Section 4, “I will take no private action that will compromise the board, the district, or the administration.” However, I believe his invention does just that. When this invention became public knowledge, individual board members expressed their dissatisfaction, concerns, and objections with Mr. Gregory.

There is no recourse in the law for the board to take action regarding objectionable behavior by a board member. Had Mr. Gregory been a district employee, there would have been an opportunity for disciplinary action. Until now, Mr. Gregory had not been appointed to nor been voted on to serve in a leadership position with the school board.

I do not agree with Mr. Gregory’s characterization and his excitement that the new board finally is reflective of the community and its conservative values. It is a shame that Mr. Gregory and his invention have created an embarrassment and a distraction for Williamson County Schools. I would urge him to step down as chair and ask the board to reconsider who they want to be the face and leader of the Williamson County School Board.

Janice Mills

Franklin

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