The actions of a majority of School Board No. 2 members on Tuesday, Sept. 13, have once again set back Billings, its reputation and our school system at least 15 years.
Substantial organizational and structural change is required in School District No. 2. Superintendent Keith Beeman was making those changes, as directed by our elected school board members. Billings maintains a reputation as a "killing field" for school administrators. Discharging the change agent and going back to the "old ways" is what many want and think they have now received. This district has had four school superintendents in nine years. Constant change in senior leadership causes continual chaos and confusion.
The cost to search for a new superintendent will exceed one year's annual salary. Will we find another candidate willing to come and continue what has been started? Make no mistake, change will continue — the status quo is unable to be sustained.
Who would want to come and put up with the attitude and behavior of people who acted like many did Tuesday evening? The acerbic, rude, sarcastic, unprofessional conduct of many educational professionals at the board meeting Tuesday was incredulous. I expect educational professionals to serve as positive role models for students, some of whom were in attendance Tuesday night. What I witnessed was sophomoric, immature individuals whose "mob" mentality overcame rational, logical thought and reason.
The city of Billings, its citizens and our students lost Tuesday night. We have now regressed 15 years.