CAT Tracks for March 18, 2021

The Cairo Board of Education held its Regular March Meeting on Thursday, March 18th, at 6 p.m.

The agenda is immediately below, followed by the CAT President's report.

That is followed by some catty commentary and supporting documents:

CAT President's Report:

Called to order at 6:00 p.m.

Members present: Stubblefield, Gooden, Harris, Coleman, McAllister, Nelson. Dr. Rice was also present. (Member Moore arrived at 6:10 p.m.)

Regina Brown read a letter of retirement. She will retire at the end of this school year.

Consent agenda was approved.

Superintendent's Report:

    #1. No discussion.

    #2 was tabled.

    #3 not mentioned.

    #4 Senior class representatives were present and spoke about graduation. Date of May 15 was suggested. The class doesn't want a prom. More discussion on how graduation will occur.

    #5 nor mentioned.

The BOE voted to enter closed session at 6:40 p.m.

The BOE voted to exit closed session 8:05 p.m.

Actions by the BOE:

    #1. Hired Cassandra Purdiman as EOC Aide.

    #2. Hired Zachary Essex as PE/Driver Education for Cairo Jr./Sr. High school.

    #3-6 - Approved. (See "NOTE" towards the end of my catty commentary below for detail about Agenda Item #4.)

    #7. Tabled.

    #8. Approved

The BOE voted to adjourn at 8:15 p.m.

CAT Tracks Editor's Catty Commentary:

As regular readers are fully aware, I have been quiet for a long time about Cairo School District Number One...

...the one exception being its mishandling of the Christmas Bonus. (BTW: After a CAT shaming, the District did finally came through with a $50 gift card.)


There is an item on this month's BOE agenda that is disturbing, namely:

    "Action to consider a Resolution terminating the employment of District Maintenance Director Tracy Bohde."

Here is another appropriate quote:

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it!" (George Santayana-1905)

According to the grapevine, Mr. Bohde has some medical issues and the District, instead of giving him reasonable accommodation as required under the American Disabilities Act, is subjecting itself to a wrongful termination charge by, well, firing him.

Surely somebody in the District hierarchy remembers previous EXPENSIVE attacks against longtime employees for health problems- e.g. Julie Newell and Lorenzo Nelson. In both instances, the District spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees...before reaching financial settlements with both. Julie returned to work for the District until she retired. Lorenzo took his settlement and moved on. And this doesn't include the James Gibson case in which the District spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, only to be forced to take him back.

Since Superintendent Rice is new to the District, maybe he does not know the history of the District's repeated failures at litigation. SOMEBODY needs to educate him!

The District has enjoyed a decade of labor peace...

...after decades of constant warfare that resulted in five employee strikes and several lawsuits (all lost by the District.)

Hopefully, when I type the "minutes" of this meeting, I will be able to report that Item #7. (4) was tabled...

...and, then, behind the scenes, the parties will come to an amicable resolution. (NOTE: As you saw in the CAT President's Report above, the BOE voted to approve the "Action to consider a Resolution terminating the employment of District Maintenance Director Tracy Bohde." This vote does NOT actually terminate Mr. Bohde, it "considers" it. So there is still hope that the BOE will reconsider its "repeat of history". Even more hopeful is that there were two votes against this action. So, stay tuned.)

If the District is truly concerned about "reducing administrative costs of the district" as their "RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF INDIVIDUAL PROCUREMENT CARDS" states, which is Item #7. (6), then avoiding expensive lawsuits is a helluva lot better than the nickles and dimes of procurement cards.

Know your history, learn from your history...

...or repeat it.

To read the unofficial minutes of the March 2nd Regular BOE Meeting... here.