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Everything old is new again...

The actions of the Rainy River District School Board at their last meeting in Rainy River prove once again the old adage that everything old is new again. In ancient Rome, when the city was confronted with a grave crisis that threatened its survival, all the power of the state was vested in the hands of one person, a dictator. The legendary Cincinnatus left his plow and saved his city, not once but twice. That was 2, 500 years ago but this strategy has been revived.
The Board has given up its powers and appointed its director of education as its dictator, with full powers to close any school whenever this all-powerful individual deems student safety or school property is threatened. How interesting that on the same night the elected trustees collected their honoraria, they gave up their powers and assigned them to a non-elected official who is not responsible to the public.
What dire circumstances caused the trustees to throw up their hands in despair? What remorseless enemy causes them to fear for the safety of students and property? It’s hard not to laugh when one discovers that the terror at the gates is their own employees.
It says a lot about the relationship of the Board and its employees that the trustees fear them as the ancient Romans feared the invading barbarians. The Board seems to imply that in any labour dispute, the teachers and education workers would hurt children or damage school property. What kind of nonsense is this?
If the trustees don’t feel up to doing the job they were elected to do, they should resign. Turning over the powers and responsibility of elected office to someone else isn’t part of a democracy. And if their relations with their employees are so bad they perceive them as an enemy, perhaps the trustees should exert themselves and investigate why this is so.

–Yours truly,
Rudolf K. F. Zeitlhofer,
Fort Frances, Ont.