Staff editorial: Board member should resign over misconduct

After multiple sources have alleged he violated Board policies, Board of Education member Scott Hancock should resign

JagWire staff

After superintendent Dr. Doug Sumner and director of teaching and learning Dr. Jessica Dain’s recent resignations, many district residents have alleged that Board of Education member Scott Hancock contributed to the resignations through inappropriate behavior and general misconduct. This includes disrespecting presenters, criticizing employees and intimidating teachers. In light of information surrounding these allegations, Hancock should resign before district residents make an effort to recall him from office.

Former district teacher Karen Wall compiled information from interviews with various district employees and residents in order to document allegations against Hancock. In a report of her information, Wall found Hancock in violation of the sexual harassment and bullying clauses of the Board’s Code of Civility. Although Wall’s sources are anonymous because they fear retaliation, there is no reason to discredit her information, as she gives many specific examples from district residents and employees.

Hancock’s alleged behavior is not acceptable, and should not be tolerated as such. If the district teaches students in its schools to treat others equally and not to bully, then its officials should also practice those behaviors. Even if the allegations against Hancock do not prove to be completely true, his perceived actions have still damaged his and the Board’s reputations, and it would not be in the district’s interest for him to continue serving.

At the same time, if Hancock’s alleged behavior occurred, district residents should have never allowed it to continue. Residents should attend Board meetings to hold their elected officials responsible for such actions. Board members hold much influence over district schools and, if one acts in a way contrary to the district’s policies, residents should hold him or her accountable.

Many of the behaviors Wall noted occurred in open session of meetings, so residents would have witnessed them if they had come to these meetings. If residents see misconduct occurring at the meetings in the future, they should make a comment either to their Board representative or to the entire Board.

If Hancock does not resign, district resident Anh-Nguyet Nguyen has plans to begin the process to recall him from office. District residents should get involved in this process by signing the petition and voting in the recall election if they truly do not want Hancock to continue serving as a Board member.

With many reliable sources alleging his misconduct, Hancock should resign as a Board member. In the wake of these allegations, district residents should also make it a point to attend Board meetings and hold their elected representatives accountable. The district has already lost two qualified administrators, and  cannot afford to lose more if policies continue to be violated — either by Hancock or another Board member’s doing.

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