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Questions about Frazee school district need to be answered

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For several months now I have been contemplating writing a letter regarding issues relating to the Frazee/Vergas School District. However, every time I get ready to write, another issue rears it's ugly head, so I sit and wait just to see what happens next. However, it has now become apparent that I can't wait any longer. I want answers to some pressing questions.

For quite a few months now, Superintendent Stender has been telling everyone that he wants the Frazee school system to be a beacon to all of the other districts around. I think that you may have gotten your wish, Mr. Stender, but for all the wrong reasons. When trust is down to zero, when board members tromp on the Constitution, when the citizens who actually own the district are considered second class citizens, and when information is denied to the local media, then this says to me this is not a good beacon, and certainly not a beacon to be proud of.

There are many issues that I would like to have explained to me but because of space limitations of the newspapers, I will only touch on these issues  at this time, and hope the media will allow me to address issues more completely in coming weeks.

I would like to have a clear unencumbered explanation of where money is coming from for all of the various projects that are being done in the school. In one breath, you tell us that the money for boilers is coming from a levy, which neither you nor the board has to bring before the citizens. Your next remarks say that the boilers are being paid for with referendum dollars. It is just as confusing with sprinklers and air conditioning. What dollars are paying for smart boards and computers? Did you actually buy computers and smart boards with all of the necessary software and hardware, and if not, then where did those dollars come from? Just a plain simple statement at a board meeting or to the media, would calm the fears of a lot of citizens. Instead, we are led around in circles without any clue as to what our tax dollars are being spent for.

There is certainly enough criticism to be passed on to board members, too. These are the people who took an oath to serve the citizens of the district. However, Dwight Cook seems to have appointed himself as the only person who has any knowledge of what a satisfactory roof would be for our school buildings. Then, Nancy Dashner chimes in and tramples the Constitution by saying that only a committee has the right do determine what decisions are made regarding the entire district, which by the way is owned by the citizens and not Nancy Dashner. Keith Janu evidently doesn't have much of an engineering background, so he sets himself up as the legal guru of the district, and tries to find ways to deny the media access to what is clearly public information. Thank you Barbi Porter for standing up and demanding that our Constitution does still exist in spite of what the Frazee School Board would have the public believe. Whenever someone tries to keep information from the media, this raises a red flag in my mind, and the question I ask myself is this, "What is it that these people are trying to hide?" What other explanation could there be for not releasing public information to media sources?

If I am permitted in coming weeks, I will delve into issues regarding morale in the school system, teachers and contracts, more on the school board and their total lack of respect for the citizens of the district, more on Mr. Stender and the problems that he has created, not only for himself but for the citizens as well, plus the biggest issue of all, the total disdain that the citizens of the district have for themselves and their school system.  

If you want to know what is wrong with the Frazee/Vergas school system, go and look into a mirror and what you see staring back at you is what is wrong with the system and only you can fix it. -- Oscar Birkeland, Frazee

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