School board asked to address athletic team performance

admin's picture
District 777’s Board of Education listened to parent Angela Nissen outline what she feels are the challenges facing Benson High School athletic programs at its meeting Monday night. She asked the school board to take action to ensure the persistent losing records of some teams is addressed. School Board Members are, from left, Bill McGeary, Chair Chad Payne, (Supt. Dennis Laumeyer,) Paul Carruth, Mary K.W. Langan, and Gary Williams.

Nissen says accountability and leadership needed

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

 

Nearly 30 people attended Monday night’s District 777 Board of Education meeting for a discussion on the state of Benson High School athletics; only one was allowed to speak.

Angela Nissen, a 1991 BHS graduate, told the school board that she was the mother of four children, a son who is a third grader, a boy who is a ninth grader, and two daughters who have graduated, one in 2013 and one in 2017.

Nissen was one of several parents and district residents who addressed the school board at its Oct. 16 meeting with their concerns about persistent losing records. They were not on the agenda but allowed to speak under the citizens’ comments section at the start of the meeting.

School board members gave no response to their comments. Nissen then asked to be on the school board’s Nov. 20 agenda to continue the discussion in hopes of getting the school board to acknowledge there was a problem and set in motion steps to address it.

She left the meeting frustrated and angry.

Among those in the crowd were other parents and grandparents of students attending Benson schools. There were teachers, coaches, and students.

While Nissen was making the central statement for many at the meeting, there were others who wanted to address the school board.

“Can anyone at this meeting be called on to speak if they raise their hand?” Nissen asked.

“No,” Board Chair Chad Payne replied. “You are the only one. You are on the agenda.”

“During the discussion?” she asked.

“You are on the agenda,” Payne said. Because she was the only one who had requested to be on the agenda, no others were permitted to speak.

Under the Minnesota Open Meeting Law, citizens are allowed to attend meetings and listen to public bodies discuss issues. However, there is no right to speak for those who are not part of the official agenda.

The school board was short two members Monday night. Andy Abner resigned from the board last week. Board Member Jodi DeJong-Hughes could not be at the meeting. Those present were Payne, Gary Williams, Mary Langan, Bill McGeary and newly-appointed member Paul Carruth....

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest news, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!

 

Pictured:  District 777’s Board of Education listened to parent Angela Nissen outline what she feels are the challenges facing Benson High School athletic programs at its meeting Monday night. She asked the school board to take action to ensure the persistent losing records of some teams is addressed. School Board Members are, from left, Bill McGeary, Chair Chad Payne, (Supt. Dennis Laumeyer,) Paul Carruth, Mary K.W. Langan, and Gary Williams.

Rate this article: 
Average: 3 (2 votes)