At the March 10 Iron Mountain School Board meeting, it was standing room only. Approximately 220 parents, teachers, students, MEA representatives and community members packed the media center. So many comments and feelings were expressed.
So many words were spoken.
Teachers were described as highly effective, experienced, loyal, caring - community and school assets - and in need of a contract.
Students spoke intelligently, emotionally, thoughtfully and appreciatively about their teachers at all grade levels.
MEA representatives were informative, passionate and direct.
Community members and tax payers were supportive of staff, passionate, expectant, and they offered positive options.
The school board and administration were asked for consideration, respect and appreciation for all staff and parents. They were asked to pay attention to all viewpoints and options presented. They were asked for leadership - to be good at it - and for actions, not words.
They were asked about mismanagement of funds. They were asked to move forward with contract negotiations with their staff - without spending taxpayers' money to fund lawyers and fact finders. They were encouraged to use this difficult financial situation as a positive opportunity for change.
Unfortunately, it seemed to many of us at the meeting that the final words continue to be frustration and impasse.