Sept. 23, 2014 02:56 PM

Public education is perhaps the most complex issue of our day. Please make every effort in the future as a responsible newspaper to set forth Lafayette Parish education issues based on multiple sources of information from a variety of perspectives, rather than vitriol.

Patrick Flanagan called his opinion piece a "cover story" in your September issue, "Most Important Election Ever." Instead, it is a lengthy letter to the editor, not the IND's higher quality journalism based on factual investigating that uncovers things the public needs to know.

The piece is glib, skimpily pieced together, and ill-informed. It skips or glosses over areas where the history and facts are available, and substitutes inflammatory language - "final gesture of vanity," "galling," "troublemakers," "biggest beef," "calculated power struggle," "laid mines limbs are blown off by the mines they've buried."

The story lumps the Turnaround Plan, the Superintendent, the School Board, the School Board members, Lafayette Parish School System, the 30,000+ students, current teachers and other employees, retired teachers, parents, and the education organizations and community groups into a simple either/or, yes/no only proposition.

Flanagan's election is a one-issue election. His proposition is love the superintendent and vote for those "who support the superintendent" or be villains, and it underserves and underestimates the people of Lafayette Parish. As one of the more than 180 people of Lafayette from the School System, businesses, parents, the University, specific related professions, and community- at-large representatives who worked many hours on the Turnaround Plan Task Forces, I am appalled at such a simplistic effort to further divide the community that is on its way to vote.

Public education is perhaps the most complex issue of our day. Please make every effort in the future as a responsible newspaper to set forth Lafayette Parish education issues based on multiple sources of information from a variety of perspectives, rather than vitriol.

Thetis Cusimano is a retired special education teacher and administrator who holds a master's degree in behavioral disabilities. Cusimano chaired the 2007 League of Women Voters' study/report "Everybody's Schools" and participated in one of the task forces that helped craft the "100% In - 100% Out" turnaround plan.

ICYMI:

Introducing The Current