2018-03-16 / Letters

Important to ‘step back, recognize limitations’

To the editor:

The resignation and recision of the resignation of David Creech, the Scarborough High School Principal, has generated significant controversy. It is alleged by those supporting Mr. Creech that his resignation was forced by the Scarborough Superintendent under the threat of non-renewal of his contract.

Through his lawyer, Mr. Creech has requested and been denied a meeting to discuss his status.

His defenders site this action as both a failure to listen to the public and a lack of transparency on the part of the Superintendent and School Board.

A movement to reinstate Mr. Creech has gained momentum and resulted in a petition which is being circulated to force a recall vote for three school board members with the ultimate outcome of possibly terminating the Superintendent.

While it is unfortunate that this situation has arisen, I feel that it is important when considering the actions of the superintendent and school board to step back for a moment to realize the limitations placed upon them as public officials.

Their ability to reveal information informing human resource decision-making is regulated strictly by Maine’s Confidential Personnel Records Law, 30 - A M.R.S.A §2702: Protecting Specific Personnel Information from Public Access.

According to this law, “certain municipal personnel records are confidential and are not public records under the Maine Freedom of Access Act (FOAA).”

These records include performance evaluations, medical information, and other related personnel information.

Accordingly, the freedom of the superintendent and school board to discuss openly what has transpired is precluded by law.

These officials have acted with integrity and to criticize their legally-bound action is challenging a process which has been developed to offer protection to both Mr. Creech and those who serve us.

It is my hope that, as a community, we will support our public officials enabling us to move ahead with the school district’s primary mission to provide excellence in education.

Jim Elkins

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