Thanks to solid reporting by the Landmark we know that RB Vice Principal Tim Scanlon has improperly run the tax-hike campaign from his desk at school.

Mr. Scanlon used public resources. Other employees were involved. His superiors either knew, and did nothing to stop him, or were so distracted that the improprieties slipped below their radar screens. They were complicit or incompetent.

This after the school sneaked an illegal campaign ad onto RBTV. And after it mis-stated – in its favor – the true tax-hike in the ballot question voters will face April 5. And after “teacher aide” students were summoned to the school office and told to interrupt seventh-period classes to distribute two-page “volunteer” forms for pro-tax hike campaign work to our kids, with the assurance that for their “volunteerism” they would receive community service credits from … Mr. Scanlon. And after Dr. David Bonnette and Principal Pam Bylsma taped a pro-referendum TV program that was shelved upon pulling the pro-referendum TV ad.

RB’s hand is well caught in the improper electioneering cookie jar.

Several board members raised the improprieties at a special meeting on Monday, March 21. Board policy states it must report apparent infractions to law enforcement.

They were quashed by the Larry Herbst-led wing. The board was swept into executive session. The public was swept out.

And there is no word of notice regarding the apparent illegalities.

So, with an election a week away, what to think?

For starters, we need the four best reformers for RB’s board that we can find. That’s the quickest way to draw a definitive line under this outrage.

And we must answer the school’s illegal referendum campaign with contempt.

I have never liked the referendum, but I carefully told folks who did that they should vote for it. No more. It must be repudiated. The illegal campaign taints it beyond acceptability.

Supporting the referendum now tells us, the new board, whichever administrators are not fired for this scandal and our teachers to accept and abet flagrant disregard for the law, “for the kids.”

Great teachers and students do tremendous teaching and learning in RB every day. We must strip away all that has gone off track to build a structure that puts learning first through adherence to law and community mandate.

For mentioning this in public, anonymous posters at the Landmark website label district voters, “RB haters.”

I always ask myself, “Must one accept illegalities to be an RB lover?” I think not. But what really matters is what you say – on Tuesday, April 5. Please, be sure to vote.

Chris Robling
Riverside