At the Jan. 9, 2014 Long Lake Central School Board of Education meeting, a community leader called for "an end to the blood letting," referring to the tone of recent meetings.
The community leader told the story of Telemachus, who, it is said, was stoned to death after publicly calling for the gladiators to stop killing each other. Telemachus had the courage to speak up for what he thought was right, even with dire consequences.
The community leader likened BOE meetings to the gladiator games. A more helpful analogy might be to liken those who participate in the meetings, either as individuals who speak during public participation or board members themselves, to historical figures who stood up for what they believed in, just like Telemachus. Or Joan of Arc. Or Sir Thomas More. Or John Wesley. Or Mahatma Gandhi. Or Rosa Parks. Or Nelson Mandela.
A call for the Board of Education to "get back to business" is misguided. This Board of Education does its work. There is no negligence on the part of the board when it comes to school district finances or programs.
The community leader suggested students are suffering; if this is the case, it is certainly not because citizens speak up at board meetings. If students are suffering, that would be the result of poor school leadership and a strained work environment.
I appreciated the history lesson. I'm all for history, and for learning from it, and for the inspiration of those who had the courage of their convictions, and who spoke truth to power. You call it blood letting; I call it democracy.
Camille Costa Nerney