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Climate of fear stifles dissent in SD2

2011-09-13T00:00:00Z 2011-09-26T16:40:12Z Climate of fear stifles dissent in SD2 The Billings Gazette
September 13, 2011 12:00 am

Pam Ellis and Lindy Graves are courageous for speaking up and expressing the views that so very many of us in this community are thinking. Thank you for speaking for the employees of School District 2, who are not speaking up for themselves out of fear for their jobs.

When you are led by a dictatorial duo like Dr. Beeman and board chair Byran, who rule by means of fear, control, and chain of command, you do not have the freedom to voice your concerns and your basic opinions. I have several questions to ask:

1. Why is a contract renewal for Beeman being addressed? He has only served half of the current contract. He has never been properly evaluated, except by a hand-picked few. Beeman and Bryan lied to the public about contract negotiations with the teachers union last winter.

2. Beeman gets paid $615.38 per day, amounting to a salary of $160,000 plus many benefits such as a buyback of unused sick leave at his daily rate, and $300 a month gas allowance. The teachers are the ones who educate our children directly every single day. It sounds like the budget is being balanced on the backs of the hardest-working.

3. Do you know what contract buyout means? With his current contract, if Beeman, is terminated (hopefully), it will cost the district hundreds of thousands of dollars. The two-year additional buyout would bankrupt our school district.

I challenge other board members to start thinking about this, as Ellis and Graves have done, and begin guiding this district away from disaster.

Doug Barnes


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