Friday, August 1, 2008

Vince, you missed this when you missed the last board meeting

The following letter was read at the July 25th Jefferson County School Board meeting's special meeting, held for the sole purpose of discussing Vince Chowdhury's future on the board. Although Vince's lawyer Dave Thomas (who also serves on the board) showed up, Vince failed to appear.  Hey Vince, just in case you didn't listen to an audio of the meeting, here is what we said:  

"...As an elected official, I feel that Mr. Chowdhury has a duty to keep our children safe and lead them by example.  While an extensive amount of information has been written about the expected code of conduct of our students, it is my understanding that you can continue to serve in your capacity even though you were convicted of 3rd degree assault on your own child this morning.  The 84,000 students that you are entrusted with should be taught that there are consequences to their actions and you have that opportunity to teach that lesson to them tonight.

The district takes its student conduct code very seriously.  This booklet is handed out every fall during registration and a signature showing receipt and understanding of the materials is collected and kept on file throughout the year.  The very first sentence of the conduct code states "The purpose of this policy is to establish a renewed trust based on the humane values of self-respect and respect for others...  It is thus the responsibility of each student to respect the rights of all who are involved in the educational process."  

How can we expect our children to respect a man who was convicted in open court of assaulting his own daughter for the petty offense of not opening the garage door fast enough?  Item 6 under Student Responsibilities states that it is the student's responsibility "to promote the physical safety and personal security of all others, exercising in this pursuit, a high degree of self-discipline, and to not engage in assaultive behavior".  Page 6 of this conduct code further states that third degree assault is grounds for suspension or expulsion.  I am very uncomfortable with the idea of you presiding over a suspension or expulsion hearing for the very crime you were convicted of.  

Thank you for your time this evening. " 

While the Board gave you a deadline of July 25th, none of us have heard from you yet.  Are you willing to do the right thing and step down or do we need to proceed even further down the path of a recall?  Is that the best stewardship of District funds?  Do you care?

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