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It was a shameful display by the Lee County school board today.

Not only have the board members violated the public trust, but the five members have put future of the school district in jeopardy with a frightening execution in its process of selecting a new school superintendent.

This was supposed to be a day on how to best go about naming an interim superintendent while they develop a plan on launching a search for a full-time boss.

Instead it turned into a bull rush, with what appeared to be a pre-determined plan to develop a final list of seven candidates today, a bizarre schedule to meet with those candidates over the next week without any public input and name the new superintendent next Tuesday. Thatís right, next Tuesday.

This only affirms our statements of last week that this is a dysfunctional board. They threw out names today with such reckless abandon one would believe they purposely arenít interested in the public weighing in on the decision. If naming the final seven was not bad enough, how are they supposed to interview them in such a short time and with any depth? Once more, the candidates selected are people who were passed over during previous searches.

The board became a renegade group of policy makers today with no thought of due process, no thought toward doing what is best for the district and initiating a thorough search that allows for the best candidates to emerge.

Todayís actions show us this board is not capable of leading the district in a meaningful way. We sincerely hope Sunshine laws were not violated as a result of their actions today. Most of them seemed prepared to name a superintendent or at least finalize candidates today with no indication during previous meetings that this was the plan.

We urge them to retreat on this outrageous display, calm down, back off of a vote for next Tuesday and develop a meaningful plan for selecting Joseph Burkeís successor. We urge teachers, students, parents and taxpayers to email the board members and demand a search that works, not one thrown together during one meeting. What happened today was an embarrassment and should not be tolerated.

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