Thursday, May 30, 2024

Reinstate Dr. Uyi Osunde

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by Bonnie Reynolds

In a recent article in The Connecticut Post, BOE chairman Michael Henrick was quoted addressing the temporary removal and lack of reinstatement of our Superintendent, Dr. Osunde, even after the case was dismissed from court. I quote “We want to make sure the person at the helm of our students and staff possesses the utmost character. We need to put our students and staff at the head of the list and ensure their safety and concerns are our number one priority.”

The fact we have one chairman making unilateral decisions on reinstating our superintendent and making comments to the press when there hasn’t been a full BOE meeting in many weeks, is beyond comprehension. It’s time to reinstate Dr. Osunde. The decisions made by Chairman Henrick regarding the reinstatement of our superintendent without full BOE meetings, raise concerns about transparency and collaborative decision-making. People with good character have compassion and are honest and fair. None of the Chair’s actions are falling into this description. 

It was in a meeting in May, 2022, when Dr. Osunde, as a black man, attempted to respectfully explain what people of color hear when they hear someone say “those who do not belong here.” His explanation speaks to the historical and generational trauma people of color experience. Mr. Henrick responded with a dismissive “pure nonsense!” This incident reflects a lack of respect, curiosity, and an inability to connect with our diverse student body and their families, as well as our staff. 

The repetition of the narrative criticizing past BOEs as lazy, and the gaslighting from the board chair contribute to an overall negative feeling within our schools. The false narrative perpetuated by these stories is wrong and brings down staff and ultimately students. All of this also speaks to a lack of character on the part of the chair.

The BOE’s primary responsibility is to prioritize the well-being and education of students and staff, not to cater to political pressures from the Republican members of the town council and the mayor. The fact that the majority here are doing so, and letting a bully run the show, lets me know they all fall short in the character department.

Be consistent. When speaking to character, make sure your own hands are clean.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I do trust all the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They are really convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short for newbies. May just you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

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