Everyone makes mistakes. When the mistakes are honest, there should be no problem admitting them and moving on.

At the May Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 Committee of the Whole meeting, during a discussion about how much control the Board of Education should have over groups like Boosters, Patrons and the Education Foundation, the board vice president, John Keen, made a statement that the reason the board needed to deal with this issue a year after they had been elected was that before they had been seated, “the interim superintendent didn’t really address this issue.”

Keen went on to say that, “this isn’t just typical of what I think the superintendent would be responsible for. This is more of our responsibility as a board interacting with the community.”

It is not clear why he thought the interim superintendent should have addressed the issue while dismissing the need for the current superintendent to do so, but the fact is that he insinuated any problems were caused by Dr. David Bonnette’s not having done so.

The trouble is the insinuation was completely false. Along with all the other district issues facing him when he was hired, Dr. Bonnette did address this situation, which is in part why, by the time the current board was seated, the parent groups had all submitted their paperwork and been recognized by the IRS as official 501(c)(3) organizations.

Dr. Bonnette was active in encouraging the groups to take this step and offered assistance in getting this accomplished. This was later pointed out to Keen, and yet he has failed to set the record straight.

I, for one, am tired of what seems to be a need on the part of this board member to continue to complain about those who served in the past. It is entirely possible that Keen had been told by someone he trusts that Dr. Bonnette had ignored things.

If that is the case, I certainly hope that in the future he will check his facts before besmirching others. If it is not the case, then he said something he knew was not the truth. That is unacceptable.

Either way, when the facts were pointed out, the civil response would have been to apologize and retract the statement in the same venue in which he first made it.

Lisa Aulerich-Marciniak
Riverside