Open Letter To District 142 President Gerry Curran

***This letter was sent via email to Curran and the Board members on June 24, 2016***

Dear District 142 President Gerry Curran,

It certainly was a pleasure meeting you after Tuesday night’s meeting on June 21, 2016.  As time continues to pass, I still find myself relieved I left my drafts at home although I do regret I did not make a few points that evening with you.

As I pledged patience and observation regarding the past and current conditions of the Board, I thought the best way for us to continue our conversation would be for me to file a simple but critical complaint with you and then seeing how you and the Board address the matter.

It is against the law for the Board to ask for someone to state their name and address for the record during the public portion of a meeting.  There is no debate on this law, nor is there any loophole or additional line item that excuses your past record.   This is also not a topic in which you get to play “I dare you to report us” with the public as you have historically done.

Each of you is obligated to take Open Meetings Act training when you are elected to the Board and pass a test.  Passing this test and having the certification does not give you permission to then dismiss the laws and do what you want to do.

Part of my own legacy complaint with District 142 has to do with the distance Board members will travel to obstruct access to reasonable resolution to grievances, including intimidation at Board meetings.

Your asking for people to state their name and address for the record is only a portion of the obstruction I am complaining about, as I know that none of you would ever tolerate your personal home addresses to be published in such a public document that is GUARANTEED TO BE PUBLISHED ON THE INTERNET.

The other portion of my complaint to you is about your asking me to move where I chose to sit, which was first row center.  What you did was illegal and should be construed as an attempt to intimidate me, although as I think you can determine for yourself, I was not.

No Board member can determine the seating arrangement and your argument of my camera blocking viewers from being able to see the Board members is extra ironic.  I am 5′ 10″, which means I would be blocking people’s view no matter what and more importantly, my camera tripod has adjustable legs.  Therefore, you suggesting my camera equipment was your legal grounds to ask me to move provides additional flaw to your illegal request.

As we are unfamiliar with one another, I do not believe in reaching out to external jurisdictions for help when public officials break laws as a first-round response, which is why I am submitting my concerns directly to you and the Board.  This Board has a very poor track record when it comes to cameras in the Board room and do not think for a moment this trend of continued silence from the general public is some sort of signal you all are doing a fine job.  This current Board is clearly are operating with a severe level of dysfunction and disconnect, but I also believe I did see threads of hope at the meeting.

Therefore, I will expect to be carbon-copied in the email you need to send to all of the Board members making it clear in the document that these types of illegal behaviors will not be tolerated at any public meeting and that the Board also needs to create a policy that clearly outlines what steps and dicipline will be taken whenever one of these OMA violations occurs.

Lastly, you may not know that Mrs. Roxana Agler was busy attempting to intimidate me prior to the meeting and that your asking me to move was actually a second strike against the board, not the first.  The third strike was when you asked people to state their name for the record.

That’s three OMA violations in less than 20 minutes by two separte individual individuals, you and Mrs. Agler, two directed specifically to me and one that included me.  Unacceptable always and forever.

It’s up to you how you approach this simple and straight-forward complaint.  You can choose to continue District 142’s tradition of trivializing and minimizing my own concerns, which would be at your own peril as it will be consistent with past President determinations.

Or you can be the person on the District 142 Board that finally calls for the clear beginning of the end of a long list of illegal practices by simply changing your own behaviors first and then publicly apologizing to everyone for the error of your ways.  You would expect no less from the students, staff and parents if they wronged you in some manner.

Regardless of your choice, I will remain committed to ensuring this continued devaluing of the District 142 diploma comes to an end sooner rather than the later.  I will be publishing this letter to the Internet in hopes of the District avoiding any FOIA request for the content in this letter.

Thank you for your time and consideration with this matter.


Valerie Weiskirch


About Midwestern Valerie

Creator and host of Advanced Midlothian Politics on WordPress, Facebook and Twitter: Researcher, writer and journalist since the 1970's.
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