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In the usual scheme of things, a sickness enters a body, then spreads. In the body known as the Tell City-Troy Township School Corp. Board of School Trustees, we may have just seen the beginning of a reverse process.
To say the board as a governing body is ill might take the metaphor too far, but we would like to see others catch what Flynn took to their table Tuesday.
She saw what appeared to be an improper procedure used to hire Lynn Blinzinger as schools superintendent. She spoke out against that, and didn’t mince words. She was insulted, she said, by the unethical and repugnant process, which would bring disdain upon the board.
Like Flynn, we have no reason to doubt Blinzinger’s fitness for the job, but we would not have allowed our name to become attached to the charade that was his hiring.
“No thanks,” we would have said. “This job will be difficult enough without my coming in under a cloud of suspicion. Hire me properly or not at all.”
The procedure appears to have been carried out like this: Someone decided Blinzinger should get the job. A feeble effort was made to give the appearance a search for candidates was conducted, in the placing of an ad in The Perry County News. Because a citizen pointed out the obvious, postings eventually made their way onto Web sites where actual candidates could see them. Despite a very short deadline, that action resulted in candidates letting the school board know they were interested. Board President Larry Bryant took that inconvenience upon his shoulders. He notified the others by e-mail that he took time over a weekend to review the other applications and found no others worth reviewing.
Flynn felt a duty to review them but was told by one of her subordinates in the superintendent’s office that she couldn’t get copies of the applications to review at home because they would be too expensive.
Were we a doctor examining the school corporation, we would see that as a symptom of something that should probably be surgically removed.
We say probably only because we’ve not heard Bryant’s side of the story. After Flynn spoke out, he moved on to other business without responding to her. Nor did he respond to a message the News left at his cell-phone number.
A healthy organism constantly guards itself against infection and fights that which manages to infiltrate its defenses. In a school board, that would translate to constant self-examination, the questioning of anything that doesn’t seem right and forthright action to correct that which is confirmed to be improper.
Like an antibody, Flynn has already shown herself to be that kind of defender. Barely on the board long enough to have a look around, she alone spoke out against wrong. She drew hearty applause after doing so, and has inspired much support in comments posted in three separate areas of The News’ Web site.
We invite other board members to do what it takes to earn the trust and respect Flynn brought to the board. The fact that no others expressed agreement with her indicates the illness lies not only in the head, but has also infected the body.
For the health of the corporation, follow her lead.
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