Weather Forecast


Reader's view: Badly behaving men besmirch School Board

When Duluth School Board member Art Johnston got angry enough at Superintendent Bill Gronseth and at board Chairman Mike Miernicki after a graduation ceremony, he physically assaulted them, according to the findings of an independent investigation. The assault consisted of a shove in the first case and a grabbing of the arm in the second; both were accompanied by angry words.

Webster’s dictionary defines assault as “a threat or attempt to inflict offensive physical contact or bodily harm on a person (as by lifting a fist in a threatening manner) that puts the person in immediate danger of or in apprehension of such harm or contact.”

Johnston is Superintendent Gronseth’s employer. Consider being assaulted in public by your boss. Johnston also interfered with a staffing matter involving his “spouse,” the investigation found. The abuse of power by an authority figure should never be tolerated.

While watching Johnston and fellow School Board member Harry Welty at the Dec. 2 School Board meeting it occurred to me I was watching theater of the absurd. As a former School Board member, I found Johnston’s and Welty’s antics to be out of order and disturbing.

We should expect our elected leaders to be models for our children. I agreed with the majority of the board in voting to proceed with the process of removing Johnston from the board (“Board votes to oust Johnston,” Dec. 3).

Welty should be embarrassed by his behavior at the meeting, but apparently he is not. He owes the board and the public an apology for his nonsensical and self-centered antics.

It’s time to move on with district business and stop with men behaving badly.

Joan A. Peterson