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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An Open Letter to Dr. Mark A. Baker, Superintendent of the Northeast School Corporation

Dr. Baker, 

I'm disappointed to have read that you are not considering any disciplinary action against Ms. Diana Medley in regard to her statements on television. While every citizen of the United States of America is entitled to first amendment rights of free speech, that right is not absolute. Especially when it clearly violates the Staff Ethics portion of the professional staff bylaws as clearly delineated by the Northeast School Corporation. 

An effective educational program requires the services of men and women of integrity, high ideals, and human understanding. To maintain and promote these essentials, the School Board expects all professional staff members to maintain high standards in their working relationships.
Professional staff members in the performance of their professional duties will:
A.recognize basic dignities of all individuals with whom they interact in the performance of duties;
B.represent accurately their qualifications;
C.exercise due care to protect the mental and physical safety of students, colleagues, and subordinates; and apply the knowledge and skills appropriate to assigned responsibilities;
E.keep in confidence all student related information unless such information needs to be shared in the discharge of their professional responsibilities;
F.ensure that their actions or those of another on their behalf are not made with specific intent of advancing private economic interests;
G.avoid accepting anything of value offered by another for the purpose of influencing judgment.
By stating that homosexuals have no clear purpose in life and that their lifestyle is offensive to her blatantly violates the above highlighted areas. All individuals includes homosexual students that she may encounter on a daily basis. Also, homosexual students are more likely than straight students to commit suicide. Do you honestly believe that hearing from a person of authority that you have no purpose in life is not damaging to the emotional well being of her students? I can guarantee that they have far more purpose in this life than Ms. Medley does as she has made it be known that her only purpose is to spread hate and judgment on people whose lives are no concern of hers. 

I also believe she's to be in violation of the Freedom of Speech clause in the NESC bylaws which I've listed below. 

The School Board acknowledges the right of its professional staff members, as citizens in a democratic society, to speak out on issues of public concern. When those issues are related to the Corporation, however, the professional staff member's expression must be balanced against the interests of this Corporation.
The following guidelines are adopted by the Board to help clarify and, therefore, avoid situations in which the professional staff member's expression could conflict with the Corporation's interests. In situations in which the professional staff member is not engaged in the performance of professional duties s/he should:
A.state clearly that his/her expression represents personal views and not necessarily those of the School Corporation;
B.refrain from expressions that would disrupt harmony among co-workers or interfere with the maintenance of discipline by school officials;
C.refrain from making public expressions which s/he knows to be false or are made without regard for truth or accuracy;
D.not make threats against co-workers, supervisors, or Corporation officials.
Violations of these guidelines may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Ms. Medley never once stated that her views were hers only. I hope that they are, without a doubt, hers only and that the school district does not agree with her. Her statements that homosexuals serve no purpose in life is absolutely baseless. There is no regard to truth or accuracy there. They serve great purpose. Unless, of course, you believe that Socrates, Whitman, Michelangelo, J. Edgar Hoover, Melville, or Aristotle have not provided the world with anything of significance. And though you do not know him, my life would not be as amazing at it is today without my big brother. His purpose in life is great. Her statement is absolutely atrocious. I hope that you will reconsider your decision and take appropriate action of releasing Ms. Medley from her contract.

Thank you for your time,

Ashley N. Holt

@HoltAshleyN - Twitter