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With great heartache the public witnessed the comments of anguished parents at the Feb. 12 school board meeting regarding alleged cases of bullying in the Sioux City schools.

However, what is perhaps more disheartening is the district’s response. Hiding behind policies and nomenclature such as “the board,” the “administration," the “policy,” the “procedure” and the “advice of legal counsel” gives the perception that the district is dealing with these incidents in a manner that is bureaucratic, unsympathetic, and is concerned more with adhering to statute than in a pro-active manner. What is wrong with stating that “students have been disciplined according to policy?” This is missing in the dialogue and actions. The result: confidence in addressing bullying from the administration has been diminished in the eyes of the public.

The superintendent repeatedly states that he is an anti-bully advocate ever since the release of the movie “Bully” in 2011. Being an advocate does not necessarily make one immune from bullying. When the district was portrayed in a very negative light, the superintendent tried to reverse the damage by proclaiming himself an advocate of anti-bullying causes. Did this advance the cause or simply advance the facade of the superintendent?

Style over substance seems to be the mantra of the school board and the insular superintendent.

Where is the real substance as administrative costs continue to balloon out of control? We don’t need more administrators. We need more teachers. How about something other than lip service. District patrons and taxpayers deserve better. - Daniel Greenwell, Sioux City


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