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  • 30 Jul 2015

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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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The news that two longtime members of the Harwood Union School Board resigned shortly before the start of the school year is troubling.

It must have taken a lot to anger board members Freddie Graves and Mike LaRock enough that they resigned from the board. Neither of these members is prone to histrionics and tempestuous behavior. They have served in one of the most difficult and thankless jobs in the community for a combined 17 years.

From the outside, which is all the closer anyone from the public is ever going to get to what caused their resignations, there was a disagreement over how Harwood handled two similar but different incidents involving students being in the school illegally. Dubbed Occupy Harwood, both incidents had kids on school grounds and in the school after hours and illegally.

One group of students triggered an alarm and was caught and disciplined. The other group was either seen or not seen on a security camera and was asked to leave the school grounds by unnamed school personnel or administrators.

And, if they were seen, the kids in the second group of invaders were unidentifiable on the security tapes and apparently just as unidentifiable by the unidentified school personnel or administrators who asked them to leave.

Granted, the kids’ privacy is protected and disciplinary action against them is private. But it is unclear why all other school staff, personnel and administration identities are also private.

It is similarly unclear as to how it is possible that no one present the second night recognized any kids and further unclear how the school and administration in their subsequent interviewing of second-night students could fail to garner enough information to identify the second-night perpetrators.

None of the students did anything beyond mischief in the school. That’s the good news. But one group of students was caught, identified and punished and the other was not.

And when school board members questioned how that could be logistically possible and/or fair, the answer was that no one recognized any kids in the second group.

It is unlikely and illogical that one of the responsible grown-ups who set foot at school on the second Occupy Harwood night failed to recognize one single student.

It is perplexing to ask why anyone would go through such an elaborate ruse. To what end?


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