To the editor:

Doug Darling needs to develop a thicker skin if he wants to continue serving his community.

He also needs to learn to read more carefully.

His defensiveness regarding questions I raised about the possibility of racism within the school district, which he first narrowed down to himself for some odd reason and then to the school board in general, demonstrates questionable reading skills and a high level of defensiveness.

A psychologist might read the defensiveness as a sign of guilt, but, if I’m reading Mr. Darling correctly, he’s really just super passionate about defending the school board, of which he’s a sitting member. I do have to wonder why he’s so defensive about the board, naturally, since he was surely a member of the community during the last bond issue when the first proposal was voted down.

The board, while it is responsible for overseeing the running of the school district, is not the only influential element within the district, so I find it really odd that Darling would jump in – a self-appointed advocate for the upcoming school bond issue – feet first in full defense mode, without being willing to provide residents with the links I provided in my most recent letter to the editor about the bond issue.

Darling is not the president of the school board, so why didn’t Mike Carney, who is, jump in and defend the bond issue?

Rarely do school districts ever allow their staff and personnel, other than the superintendent, to publish public letters to the community, but Mike Roth, current superintendent of USD 453, has also been silent about the questions and issues raised by community members about the bond issue, except when interviewed.

Mr. Darling’s last letter was full-defense mode, so he let slip that, while he had tried to convince us earlier that the board had been dealing with the issues addressed by this bond issue for the last three years with full support of the whole board, the board had actually only been working on this proposed bond issue for six months. He’s also never admitted that two board members voted against putting this bond issue up for a community vote.

When Doug first ran for the school board in 2013, my husband and I supported his campaign by putting out not one but two signs for him in our yard.

A strong community, however, is built upon a foundation of trust. When people feel they are not being told the full truth about a situation, that trust is the first thing to fray.

Note that the school district used to publish the email addresses for each board member (except Loyal, who doesn’t believe in such stuff) on their website, but they now have a system set up where they can easily monitor all emails sent to board members, which is why I wrote this as a letter to the editor at 3 a.m. rather than send you a personal email, Mr. Darling, just so you know why I have never contacted you personally about this issue. Not every resident lives on the same time schedule you do, and you have to wonder why the school district is exercising such control over who communicates with you.

I believe in an open, democratic system, and sometimes that system says no, start again. I think you're strong enough to deal with rejection of the bond, Mr. Darling. Do you? Remember, nothing about this discussion is personal (except for the ad hominem attacks like the ones directed against me), but the end result does affect the entire community.