Letters to the Editor

PTA heavy handed in control of information

Wow. What’s wrong at the state PTA Region 1? (“Gordon PTA asks sheriff to investigate,” page A1, Feb. 21 Herald).

It seems to me that the proper person to contact the police or sheriff is the person who has first-hand knowledge of the incident. It is law enforcement’s responsibility to find the evidence; it’s what they’re good at doing. The police don’t need complete documentation in order to begin an investigation, but they do need a formal report and it is helpful to be pointed in the proper direction. They’ll run with it from there.

The sooner it is begun, the greater the likelihood of a successful, proper conclusion. Remember, a police investigation often exonerates as well as accuses. It can also determine that the “mishandling” and, maybe, poor record-keeping doesn’t rise “to the level of being criminal.” The police are only hindered — perhaps intentionally so — by having to start with sanitized information filtered through a third party.

If the effect of the confidentiality agreement is to silence whistleblowers, then PTA policies and guidelines need to be reviewed and overhauled.

PTA Region 1’s director clearly never meant for her email to the local PTA board member to go beyond the recipient, but that’s transparency. It’s now out in the open. Everybody wins.

Because the $9,000 was reimbursed and a board member resigned does not make everything OK. And to limit the forensic accountant’s audit to such a narrow scope only raises the fearful question of what else may be discovered.

The director proved to be the worst possible spokesperson for Region 1 on this unfortunate matter. Unless there’s a drastic change of course on the director’s part, her suitability for that office ought to be reviewed and reconsidered.

Bill Williams
Kingston

 

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