Board Chair Paul Bates resigns

Mr. Bates,

I am sorry to see you go. However, thank you for speaking out strongly against underage drinking and drug use in our community. I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,

Ellen Mandeville

The Blaine County School District today announced the resignation of Paul Bates from the BCSD Board of Trustees:

Chairman Paul Bates resigned on Monday, January 20, after making the decision on Friday, January 17 during several special meetings with the Board of Trustees.  His resignation letter follows:

January 21, 2014

School Board Chairman Paul Bates Resigns

January 20, 2014

Dear Board of Trustees,

Barge Levy hung a sign over the front door to the Silver Creek Alternative School many years ago. Many of you know it. It said, simply : Own it, Fix it, Move on.

My daughter had a party on New Years Eve. That night I went to bed early. It has come to my attention that there were uninvited kids there and things that happened that I was not aware of. That being said, it was at my house and I am responsible for what happens there. I take ownership of that night.

I am deeply saddened and I apologize. To my Board, this District and the community. The Board of Trustees has to exemplify the highest standards of integrity, and I have fallen short of that standard. So I ask tonight that the Board accept my resignation, effective immediately.

I leave knowing in my heart that this organization is in highly capable hands and the future is very bright. Give each other the support and encouragement to be the best you can be and success will follow.

Again, I am sorry. I will miss you all.

With much admiration for this team,

Paul Bates

The first special meeting was held on Friday, January 17 with the Board of Trustees.  A second special meeting was held on Monday, January 20 where Chairman Bates submitted his resignation letter.  The letter will be read by Vice Chairman Shawn Bennion at the regular Board of Trustees meeting this evening, Tuesday, January 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the District Office, 118 W. Bullion St., Hailey, ID, 83333.

Trustee Kathy Baker stated, “As a Blaine County School Board of Trustee, I believe we all understand that as elected, volunteer school district leaders, our actions impact students, parents, and our entire community. When the Board became aware of this issue, and after confirming the facts, we acted immediately to discuss what was best for the school district and our community. Moving forward, I am committed to putting the time and resources into helping our district and community resolve this issue.

I believe Mr. Bates’ decision to resign is honorable and I have great respect for him. I can only hope that this example of leadership he has shown by his actions will ignite a change in the culture of our community and empower parents and students to take a stand against underage drinking and social hosting [the practice of legal age adults furnishing or condoning the consumption of alcohol by underage parties on property that the host controls]. I appreciate the tireless service Mr. Bates has given our community over the past five years and wish him and his family the best.”

Interim Superintendent John Blackman said, “The District appreciates Chairman Bates six years of volunteer service and leadership to public education in Blaine County.  We appreciate his forthrightness in accepting responsibility for these events.  For many years, it has been clear that underage drinking and social hosting is a pervasive problem in our community.   Because of this, we have worked closely with the Blaine County Community Drug Coalition and law enforcement.  School district administrators have been on the board of the Drug Coalition since it’s founding.  As a district we understand and value the need for collaboration with other organizations in finding a solution to keep our students safe from underage drinking and social hosting.  The district continues its efforts in preventing underage drinking through its policies, actions and the promotion of a drug-free culture.  We need to all work together.  No one organization can fix this.  This is why we value the Blaine County Community Drug Coalition’s partnership. It is a true community collaborative effort. Please attend these events and/or encourage your children to attend:

  • January 29th – i2i Assemblies for Wood River High School students
  • January 30 – Community Discussion about connecting with the youth
  • February 18th – Young People’s Town Hall, Community Campus
  • February 20th – Community Town Hall meeting on social hosting ordinance policy for county
  • March 19- Parenting Teens presentation with Julie Carney from Wood River High School, Erin Buell from St. Luke’s, Daryl Harris from the Advocates, and the Jamie Rivetts from the Idaho Social Emotional Learning Center.  

Before and after the winter break, Wood River High School presented two assemblies on meth.  At Wood River High School, the Wolverine advisory period is used to address individual student behavior and encourage positive relationships with high school teachers.  This is one of many ongoing efforts organized by our social workers, counselors, student leadership and school administrators.  I encourage anyone with questions or concerns to contact me at 578-5000 or jblackman@blaineschools.org.

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