School Board members respond to key questions | Opinion | Lee's Summit Journal

School Board members respond to key questions | Opinion | Lee's Summit Journal



I asked each board member two questions (prior to McGehee dialing back his statements) recently: Do they support McGehee’s call for Baird to resign; and, could the media attention lead to better dialogue between board members, administration and the community? All but one member responded, and a portion of some of the answers appears on Page 5A.
In addition, Balagna added: “In the time I have been on the R7 School Board, we have consistently had positive, analytical and forward-thinking dialogue. In light of recent events, our dialogue has become deeper, and has forced us to evaluate the scope of our work further.”
Bob White replied “No, not at this time” to the question of McGehee’s call for Baird to resign, and Julie Doane replied “No,” as well. On the question of media attention, White replied, “not necessarily,” while Doane answered in the affirmative.
Board President Terri Harmon had this to say about the call for a resignation: “Dr. McGehee has retracted that call and I support his efforts to ask Mr. Baird to begin working in good faith again with the entire board as we had been before his actions of last week.” On the media attention, she shared this: “I do not believe that the media attention has been beneficial. As a board, we were well on our way to addressing concerns that were raised using established processes and procedures. There is a large amount of information that has been presented to the public as facts that is actually opinion.”
Bill Baird had this to say: “Dr. McGehee’s call for my resignation is the very embodiment of our issues at the school board and our district.”
On the media, he said this: “I do believe the media, though it was negative, will lead to better dialogue in the community. The very people that have built this community and made the school district the great entity it is today had to be upset at what they were reading. I went to the media because I needed the help of these people, the stakeholders of our community.”
Chris Storms noted it wasn’t right for either to call for the other’s resignation: “I believe it will be years before the opinions that have been wrongly formed will be able to be repaired.”

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