Monday, December 20, 2010

Letter To The Editor

The following Letter to the Editor was originally written for and mailed to the editor of the Idaho World newspaper. An article published in the 12/15 edition of the IW quoted School Board Trustee, Alan Ward, who was responding to School Board Trustee Janell Ward's letter of resignation, presented on the eve of her recall election. This letter by Kati Ward was rejected by the editor, for reasons which make the 19-year old feel insulted, because she composed the letter herself, contrary to the editor's comments, and wrote the letter from her heart.

The editor of the GV Daily News has no problem allowing college students to comment on the squabbles of the adults in the community and welcomes their observations. Speaking of "using your children as pawns", which, in fact, the IW must clearly approve of, considering its support of other parents using their younger children to carry placards and harass school superintendents, it will be quite interesting to watch the continuation of the game. Pawns are considered the weakest pieces, but they may not move backwards--something that perhaps our school "friends" could emulate. Hats off to Pawns.

To the Editor,

I would like to make a few comments on Alan Ward’s statements regarding Janell Ward’s resignation. I am Kati Ward, Janell’s daughter, and I just want the community to know the facts, not the lies that Mr. Ward told. How I know that Mr. Ward isn’t telling the truth is that I overheard the whole phone conversation that took place while we were in Florida. It was my cell phone he called on and the volume was up loud so I heard both of them talking.

My mother did not admit to breaking executive sessions, because what she told Mr. Ward was that everything she told the letter writer (who asked her to tell them) was from open session and what Brian Julian, the lawyer, told the community. Plus Channel 7 taped the meeting. Mr. Ward never advised her of her rights, it never even happened. He launched into the conversation, accusing her and not even asking her what happened or if she did it. The open session with Brian Julian took place on July 1; Mr. Ward didn’t get onto the school board until July 19th. So what was said in executive and open session Mr. Ward does not know since he was at neither of the meetings.

When my mother referred to unethical behavior, she was referring to how Mr. Ward handled the situation in Florida and the things he did during her recall.
My mom doesn’t blame him for her resignation; he’s just part of the whole equation of problems. The main reason for her resignation, as she stated before in her letter, is her health. At her last doctor’s appointment, her cardiologist told her that her heart wasn’t doing as well, because of all the stress of being on school board. Mr. Ward’s actions were creating more stress for my mom, especially since he is a family member.

I want to know where in my mom’s resignation letter she lays complete blame of her resignation on Mr. Ward, because I can’t find it.

Kati Ward


  1. Wow. Terri Hart obviously has an anti-JW agenda since she's allowing Alan to post his vitriol and not allowing Kati to counter it.

  2. While I certainly admire Kati defending her mother, the statements above don't make complete sense. The meeting with Brian Julian in public did not ever mention the teacher by name, Janell did to the patron (and others). Brian Julian could have been in trouble had he mentioned the teacher's names specifically in an open meeting. Therefore, he didn't. Go back to the taped meeting and you will see this is the case.

    I appreciate the loyalty to her mom, but it hasn't only been hard on Janell. There are a lot of people hurting here.

    Teri posted Janell's statement verbatim and Alan's response. That does not and cannot equate to an anti-JW agenda.

    The call to JW in Florida happened in September - they both agree on that. Why wait until December 13th to mention it or to resign?

    It's very sad for everyone but hopefully now Janell can concentrate on her health and put this behind her.

  3. Hey Grace,
    So tell me who JW also said the teacher’s name to? The only incident ever heard of was just the one. Don’t start making up rumors.
    No one ever said it was only hard on JW. The letter is speaking of JW, not everyone else.
    If you actually read the article in the IW, you will see that they have JW’s resignation letter and then they have Alan’s response to the letter. There is NO statement from JW, nor did they say that she didn’t have a response. So tell me, did they actually ask her for a statement?
    The phone call happened in September, but as you say, didn’t come out until December……Wouldn’t that disprove people’s theory of her being a blabber-mouth. Maybe she wanted to protect her family. And maybe the whole family became tired of the rumors people have been spreading. Maybe JW didn’t want to cause more of an issue with her brother in-law, whereas her daughter felt it needed to be told.

  4. I no longer subscribe to or read the Idaho World. I have quit watching channel 7. I suppose, due to freedom of the press, these news media’s can print and report anything, but I don’t have to read or listen to their lies.

  5. It's a good thing I review these pages every few weeks...Grace, you are legally and factually incorrect.

    Is that what this all was about, Mrs. Ward leaked the name of a teacher? Even casual followers know that the super let the public read the complaints - an act which identified the "teacher."

    It was an act that also was found to be legal by the school district's own policy, and the law of the land. Your board commissioned and paid for a formal legal opinion on the topic - one which absolved any wrongdoing by your super, and also any wrongdoing by your board or its members.

    This is old news, asked and answered, said and done, easily substantiated.

    That is a problem with these blogs, opinions are great, but people who know nothing about issues trying to state facts - they may as well write for your county paper.

  6. Thank you, boisewriter, for posting the facts. Of course, there are many who will not accept that these are the facts. I guess it's just winter entertainment in Boise county as usual. Phhhhhtttttt.

  7. Making the complaints available for public viewing may have been found legal by the district's counsel but that does not mean everyone went in and read them. The accusation did not come from Mr. Ward but as I understand it, it was relayed by him. I'm not sure how Kati could have heard what he said by listening only to her mother's side of the phone conversation.

    The big issue for the patron(s) who heard this had nothing to do with the public meeting with Brian Julian. It had to do with a board member relaying plans to go after a teacher and share the details of both the teacher and the specific plan. Those items should have been confidential and related to personnel and therefore would be considered topics for executive session.

    Aside from the patron who wrote the letter who I have not spoken to, I heard a similar account from two other people with basically the same message - we're going to get this teacher.

    Again, the conversation took place in September. There is a reason JW resigned the night before the election we just aren't talking about it I guess. I have compassion for JW's health concerns as I would for anyone but these health concerns did not suddenly pop up on the 13th of December.

    I guess other board members who have resigned could have taken parting pot shots on the way out the door but thought better of taking a bad situation and making it worse. Not so in this case.

  8. Grace,

    You make the point that many have made about the neverending critics and criticism of the GV school district - you argue, lose the argument, so you just change your argument. That is certainly what it looks like from the outside.

    You wrote (first) above that the attorney would have been in trouble by mentioning the name. I wrote that he would not have been, and can prove it - in fact it has been proven in your district, so you just changed your argument in your last post.

    You may have an opinion on what should be confidential but you evidently don't know.

    It looks here in the TV that you all want controversy, you want a war of insults, you enjoy making charges against people - just to be insulters.

    After a year what have you accomplished? All the charges of "illegal," and anybody fined or gone to jail? The charges were of course bunk. All the election charges, were any substantiated? None, nobody disciplined by any source.

    You have a great little valley, a beautiful new school, and proven competent management. Maybe you should give it rest with the new year.

    Just an observation from an interested watcher.

  9. Boisewriter - I do know personnel matters are confidential. I only brought up the Brian Julian meeting because it seems to be used as a defense in the letter above. The Brian Julian meeting has NOTHING to do with the accusations against JW. He did not mention names in the meeting and that is not how the patron became aware of the situation. She became aware of that and other items because she was told by a TRUSTEE.

    According to Julian, the complaints belonged to you and you could do with them as you please. Again one sutuation has nothing to do with the other.

    The patron was told information about an employee that should not have been shared and then she was further informed that there was a plan afoot to "fix" the teacher for good. And just so you know - this particular teacher isn't the first one to be talked about like that in public by the same trustee.

    We clearly do not have proven competent management at the school or we would not be in the mess we are in today. Leadership is a beautiful thing - I'd sure like to see some soon.

  10. “but as I understand it, it was relayed by him”
    “big issue for the patron(s) who heard this”
    “I have not spoken to, I heard a similar account from two other people with basically the same message”
    I have read your comments and quoted you above; Most of your comments seem to be based on gossip, and that is the biggest problem and what is hurting people the most.

  11. Grace: “Go back to the taped meeting and you will see this is the case.”

    I was at the meeting and channel 7 only reported only what they wanted to report to tell their side of the story, keep the gossip going, and sensationalize the story. You are right Brian Julian did not mention the teacher’s name. If you were there and saw the reaction of the teacher and her husband after Brian Julian spoke it was obvious who had made the accusations. It surprised me the teacher would go to that extreme to carry out a personal agenda. In the end her bad judgment led to her resignation.

  12. Grace: “I'm not sure how Kati could have heard what he said by listening only to her mother's side of the phone conversation.”
    Read Katie’s letter again.
    “It was my cell phone he called on and the volume was up loud so I heard both of them talking.”

  13. Minor correction but important: "Teri quoted Janell's statement verbatim" is not exactly true. The writer of the 12/15 article cut and pasted the entire quoted letter from the Garden Valley Daily News blog but did not acknowledge GVDN nor did she check to make sure I was not blowing it out of my ear.

  14. I just wanted to say that I am surprised that the IW did not print Kati's letter. I don't know what happened, I wasn't there, but it seems that the letter could have been printed, and Alan could have responded if he disagreed.

    I will say that when I read Janell's resignation letter on this blog, that I did think that she blamed Alan Ward, at least in part. She specifically mentions the activities of a board member that was especially hurtful because they are a family member. She also stated that she had to consider her health, and I do hope her health issues get better without the stress of being on the school board. Both of the issues she mentions for her resignation occurred months ago, so why wait until now to resign?

    I agree that gossip can hurt. I think it's funny that gossip is only looked at as gossip if it doesn't agree with what you believe in. If you can be honest with yourself, you will see this is true.

    This blog is biased in one view. I know that when I look at this blog. Just as I know that Grace has an opinion when I look at her blog. Anyone who looks at either of the blogs should realize that, and keep it in mind as they read the newest topic.

    I don't get upset when I read something I don't agree with. If I feel strongly enough about it, I post a comment. That is what is great about these blogs.

    I don't think people agree with each other all of the time. I think differing opinions can start good discussions, and don't always have to end up with name calling, as I have seen happen often on the blogs.

    So, to all who complain about either blog, or who's writing them, join the discussion with sound reasoning. If what you are seeing on one blog or the other is just too frustrating, stop going to that blog.

    Here's to next year. May it be better than this one.