I went to the last District 244 school board meeting in Grangeville. At this meeting Martha Smith and Dakota Gorges got up and addressed the school board with speeches regarding Vincent Martinez contract not being renewed. They also presented petitions signed by many from the community for the reinstatement of Mr. Martinez. All the time that Martha and Dakota spoke about how they respected him and what a great teacher he is, Casey Smith looked away and covered his eyes. Very disrespectful in my opinion. Respect goes both ways. What is he teaching our students? When they received a standing ovation, Casey Smith said he could close down the public comments if they didn't hold the applause.

I believe Mr. Martinez was not rehired because of a conflict of personalities. That is no reason not to renew his contract, when the kids and teachers like and respect him. The board says that they can't talk about personnel issues. Should they be able to fire anyone who questions them, like Mr. Martinez did? Wasn't it Casey Smith who stated at a previous board meeting that he could make the levy fail? Does this sound like someone who should be on our school board? Who is he on the board for? The kids, teachers, community? I don't think so.

I think it is time that we stand together and ask questions like Mr. Martinez did. Don't we as taxpayers have the right to know why they won't rehire a teacher who is respected and loved by the students, teachers and parents? I have to question the board’s motives for not renewing his contract. Please ask the board questions and demand answers. As a taxpayer, take a stand and use your voice for the good of the students, teachers and school. Please rehire Mr. Martinez.

Bill Chambers

Kooskia

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