Your decision not to renew Jill Musil’s contract is confusing at best. It has shown your ineptitude and inability to make sound decisions. At worst, you’ve blatantly disregarded the will of the people that make up D208. 

Your claims of her unprofessionalism lack any merit whatsoever in the eyes of anyone with common sense. Throughout this ordeal, your administration has claimed that Mrs. Musil’s lack of professionalism is what led to her non-renewal. 

Unprofessionalism is a very broad, subjective term, I guess. The vast majority of the populace don’t seem to have any problems with how she has conducted herself both in and out of the classroom. Was Jill’s alleged unprofessionalism so bad that it warrants the most severe punishment available to her: non-renewal months before she is due tenure? 

Yet your administration has yet to substantiate your claims of Mrs. Musil’s alleged unprofessionalism with any specifics regarding what infraction or infractions have warranted her dismissal. 

I would love to defend her in more detail, but I am still puzzled as to what specifically she needs to be defended against. I suspect you are following a lawyer’s advice and being as vague as legally allowed, as you know you have no substantive evidence to back up your weak, wispy claims. 

Why has this board’s decision been shrouded in so much secrecy? If you have a valid argument, by all means, come out with it. It is this complete and utter lack of transparency from the administration that frustrates this community the most. 

Every single community member who has spoken out on the issue at the last two board meetings spoke out in Jill’s defense. There was not one negative comment about Jill from anyone in the community who spoke on the issue. Yet you still voted unanimously to blatantly disregard the district’s wish and not hire back one of the most respected, hard-working, and beloved teachers at RB.

Two board meetings have come and gone. You’ve had two chances to do the right thing and listen to the vast majority of your constituents. Two times the voice of the community has apparently fallen on deaf ears.

Currently, this is a losing situation for everyone involved. My wife is being cut off from the community she cares so deeply about. The students are losing a valuable asset in an amazing teacher and mentor. The Special Olympics athletes are losing a coach who continually brings out the best in them. Your administration isn’t too popular right now.

 It’s human to err. I’d like to speculate that Ms. Smetana just sold you board members one heck of a story on some perceived slight she then blew way out of proportion. It’s easier for me to believe that the board is constituted of good, well-meaning people who are just slightly gullible rather than of morally bereft, spineless slugs. 

However, please don’t let your lapse in judgement turn into a mistake you will live to regret. There is still time to do what you know is right. Quit being so hard-headed. You still have a chance to gain back the trust and respect you’ve lost from the community.

Board members: I implore you to hold an emergency meeting. Have another vote. Distance yourselves from Ms. Smetana’s witch hunt. Reverse your decision. Renew Mrs. Musil’s contract and grant her the tenure she rightfully deserves. 

Do this and we will play nice. Let’s try to resolve this peacefully, without lawyers, and bring a happy ending to this story for all involved.

Ed. note: Ryan Musil is the husband of Riverside-Brookfield High School social studies teacher Jill Musil.

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