Monday, August 11, 2008

Oops, He Did it Again

By now we've all read the comments that Vince made in an interview with the Columbine Courier last week. After weeks of silence, Vince Chowdhury finally came out of hiding and spoke at length with a reporter, giving us all an insight into his thought process. First, let me state that Mr. Chowdhury should be commended for having a 21-year-marriage in which "he has never had any problems whatsoever". Perhaps once Vince leaves the school board he could spend his free-time writing a marriage guide book for us all to follow. Although if the final chapter ends in a protective order and divorce proceedings, I doubt it will hit the best-seller list.

In all seriousness, however, Vince claims that only a handful of people are asking him to step down. Let us all remind him that that this "handful of people" includes his entire board, whom he has deliberately chosen not to respond to. He indicated that he hasn't responded to Scott Benefield, Jeffco School Board President, because they have "issues". How does a school board member effectively represent his district if he can't even pick up the telephone to answer a simple question from a fellow board member?

I'm quite sure most of his supposed "issues" with the current board president stem from the fact that Vince has actively campaigned, lobbied for, begged and pleaded for the position of board president since he came on in 1999. In the entire time that this "most experienced member of the board" has served, he has never once been able to convince his peers that he should be board president. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride I suppose....

This "personal and family matter" is much more than that. His lack of anger control is a serious flaw in his character that violates the very Student Conduct Code and Jeffco Public Schools Safety Plan that Vince Chowdhury was elected to uphold. This man assaulted his own daughter (a current Jeffco student) and threatened his wife (a current Jeffco teacher) that "she would be next". He then violated a protective order twice and falsified his arrest record by providing his wife's work phone number instead of his home and work phone number. A man who has been convicted of assault and court-ordered to attend parenting and anger management classes does not deserve to be sitting on the Jefferson County School Board.

The students of Jeffco are closely watching this role model to see how he is handling his "fall from grace"(as he calls it). Will he accept the consequences of his actions by resigning as his board members have publicly and formally asked him to do? Or will he continue to even acknowledge the board's formal request of him? As a parent of two sons whom I have raised to respect and value women as well as men, I know what path I'd like him to take.

The Jeffco school board has worked tirelessly to gain the public trust and continue to improve its schools. What the board doesn't need or deserve is a distraction like Vince Chowdhury interfering with their future progress.

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