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A Letter from the Board of Education

October 28, 2020

Dear Salt Lake City School District community,

As members of your elected Board of Education, we would like to take a moment to address you, our friends and community.

Recently, you have likely read or seen stories about some of our Board members behaving in a manner not in keeping with the high standards of the office to which you have elected us. To put it simply: you and our students deserve better. This is not who we want to be as a Board; it does not represent the behavior we want to model for our community, and especially for our students.   

As a first step, we would like to apologize to those individuals who were disparaged or embarrassed by what was written in correspondence between Board members. We are deeply sorry for breaking your trust and for causing hurt to constituents about whom we care deeply. 

This moment provides us with an opportunity to reflect, to commit to do better, and to focus on real change and the promising future of the Salt Lake City School District. We are committed to working together to rebuild the reputation of the Board and to restoring your trust, not only in our leadership, but also in this amazing district. We are determined to get this right.  

Recognizing we can do better and acknowledging our shortcomings are only the first steps in creating the Board we know we can be, and that we need to be, to represent the Salt Lake City School District community. The following are some immediate corrective steps we are taking to regain your confidence and trust:   

  1. We will have a facilitated, professional development discussion on our ethical and professional responsibilities, including the need for appropriate and transparent communications (see ) during either our November 17, 2020 or December 1, 2020 Board meeting. 
     
  2. In light of concerns that have been raised about Board members’ compliance with the Open and Public Meetings Act, we will have our Board attorney from Burbidge and White provide additional training for all Board members, including new Board members, on the Open and Public Meetings Act and Public Officers and Employee’s Ethics Act. This will take place during one of our scheduled Board meetings.  

As we recommit ourselves to serving you with dignity and respect, we want to thank you for your patience and understanding. We value your input and request that you continue to reach out to us as we move forward in a deliberate, transparent, and trustworthy manner. We value your input. We cannot do our jobs well without your feedback, even—actually, especially—when it is different from our own opinions. Only together and representing all voices can we make decisions in the best interest of all our students.  

Sincerely,    

Melissa Ford
Board President, Precinct 6

Nate Salazar
Board Vice President, Precinct 4
Michelle Tuitupou
Precinct 1
Katherine Kennedy 
Precinct 3

Samuel Hanson
Precinct 5

 
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