By Marcia Long
Special to The Globe
JOPLIN, Mo. —
The Joplin School Board missed the boat in the recent redistricting process. An opportunity to further unify our city was lost when the board invited public input and then not only slammed the door in the face of polite, well-educated and civic minded patrons, but allowed a board member to launch a tirade of harsh words in their direction.
I disagree with the editorial opinion of the Joplin Globe that said “no one in public office gets to win a popularity contest.”
Truly great leaders are often very popular. They have the ability to handle differing opinions with finesse and courtesy. It is not a bad thing to disagree on important issues. But it is wrong to chastise well-meaning citizens, who have been invited to participate in the discourse, because they disagree with an appointed committee.
One of the stated Standards of Excellence in the Joplin School District is “Joplin Schools will become the school district of choice in Southwest Missouri by demonstrating annual improvement in overall patron, parent and student satisfaction.”
I respectfully suggest that the way the process of redistricting was handled will not aid in meeting that goal.
In the future, difficult decisions will need to be made by Joplin administrators and school board members. I hope they can make these decisions in a more diplomatic and courteous manner.