Issue shows why public service is important

With the posting of an online petition by “Concerned Parent,” the whisper campaign against Hancock principal Ezekiel Ohan finally has been brought out into the open.

As we’ve said in yesterday’s editorial, the content of the petition means next to nothing, given the corrupt nature of internet information, but it served a purpose for good in placing the issue into the public sphere.

Now the people of Hancock can have a public debate on the question. Are Hancock students getting a better education because of Ohan’s contributions?

That’s the question for every administrator, faculty or staff member in any school district, although it is easier to determine with administrators and teachers.

Maybe part of that discourse will include submitting a real petition — or petitions — in writing, which is one of the five freedoms of the First Amendment.

After the issue is freely and fairly presented, it will be up to a board of seven Hancock residents to make the call. And that decision, which will turn on the votes of four people, is why it is so important for citizens everywhere, including the Copper Country, to serve the local community through elected office in local schools and municipalities.

Local elected officers exert much more influence on the daily lives of their neighbors than those serving in state and federal offices, and school board trustees might have the most effect.

Local school districts spend roughly 60 percent of local property taxes, give ultimate approval of curricula, text book selections and administrators.

The choices they make determine the quality of education local students get, so they impact students’ lives and indirectly impact the community’s economy.

Deciding if a principal stays or goes based on any factor other than education can be detrimental to a community. In the case of Ohan, he is in the second year of a two-year contract which will expire before the next School Board election

So the fate of Ohan, as well as current and future Hancock Schools students, rests in the hands of the seven current board members.

A Daily Mining Gazette editorial