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Mike Johnson: The entire story

Here is a simple fact to consider: When school boards give a directive to a superintendent, it must be done in a public meeting. A directive cannot be given to a superintendent in executive session – secret session, as the Pilot & Today likes to say. A school board may discuss a directive in executive session, but there must be a school board vote, held in a public forum, regarding any official directive that is to be given to a superintendent.

There is no public record of a former school board, or the current board, voting to direct Donna Howell to provide any of those boards with the DeVincentis e-mails. Howell has said that she does not know anything about how the DeVincentis e-mails got to the Pilot & Today. Here are some questions to consider:

1. Who made the decision to retrieve the DeVincentis e-mails off the server, and why was that decision made? As superintendent of the school district, does Howell know anything about who went into the e-mail server and retrieved the DeVincentis e-mails? As superintendent of the school district, shouldn’t she be aware of this type of activity?



2. Are our children’s personal records safe from prying eyes? How much of our children’s and their families’ information is contained in computer files on district computers? Does our district outsource or contract outside the district any services that place personal information in insecure computer databases? Are the personnel records of school district employees safe from prying eyes?

3. Did Pat Gleason tell any district employees to go into the e-mail server to retrieve the DeVincentis e-mails? This is not likely, as a district employee would not likely do this unless directed by a supervisor. Did Gleason go into the server and retrieve the e-mails himself? This is not likely either, as the average board member does not possess the skill set to access e-mails from the district server nor would a board member have access to the district’s e-mail server under normal board member duties, responsibilities or privileges.



4. Did any former School Board members direct Howell to retrieve the e-mails? Did any former School Board members direct any district employees to retrieve the e-mails? District employees are not likely to follow such a directive if it did not come from a supervisor. Did any former School Board members retrieve the e-mails?

5. Who made the decision to tell someone to retrieve the DeVincentis e-mails? Why were those e-mails retrieved? When were they retrieved?

6. Have any other district employees’ e-mails been retrieved? Wouldn’t you like to have these questions answered? Wouldn’t you like to know the rest of this story? Is the Pilot & Today providing you with the entire story?

Mike Johnson

Steamboat Springs


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