The article from last week’s Landmark “D208 board members tune up band teacher over past comments” (News, Nov. 18) described a horrible exchange of comments between an RB teacher and his school board.
James Baum spoke at a recent board meeting for the sole purpose of praising his students. He was proud of how they were performing with their instruments under very difficult remote circumstances. He was anxious to share some good news about students with the school board.
Instead of being thanked for passing along the information or praised for this achievement, he was questioned about his stance on in-person learning by at least three board members, according to the article. The questions by these members were off topic and quite rude.
James Baum is a teacher at RBHS and was also an excellent student at this school. He kept his cool during this questioning. He explained why he was opposed to in-person band lessons in a logical and consistent manner.
Anyone who has been seated in the audience row nearest the stage or band section knows how performers may spit in an effort to project voices or instruments. What could be more unsafe during a pandemic? He did not deserve to be ridiculed in such a public way. I can only hope he will not be silenced because of this incident.
Having taught at RBHS for almost four decades, I have had my share of heated disagreements with board members. But these disagreements never took place in public. They were always during a one -on- one meeting or over the phone.
Everyone is frustrated by the remote vs. in-person learning debate. Teachers are performing small miracles under the circumstances. They deserve much credit from their board members, not public shaming.