Mrs. Gauthier’s lament Is all about Exclusion

The failure of the Superintendent Search Committee to grant an interview to local school system applicants Assistant Superintendent Janice Gauthier, Assistant Superintendent Charlie Obremski and Assistant High School Principal Dr. Omar Easy, is inexplicable and unjustifiable.

Mrs. Gauthier’s emotional and stunning plaintiff plea at the end of the last meeting of the School Committee where four superintendent finalists were announced, was a fitting post script to a selection process that is out of control.

She let everyone in the room know exactly how she felt – something rarely done by public officials here, and even more rarely paid attention to by members of the School Committee who have not a word to say about this injustice.

In so many words she said it was appalling to not receive an interview after spending 49 years in the system.

She was right. Her resume and those of Obremski and Easy are far superior to the four finalists and any professional looking at them reasonably would agree with this assessment.

No member of the School Committee has responded with so much as a public word or a shrug about Mrs. Gauthier’s humiliation, which is about Obremski’s humiliation and Dr. Easy’s humiliation.

The public diminishment of these administrator’s careers in the Everett Public Schools by School Committee Chair Thomas Abruzzese were not just an insult to them, but an insult to everyone serving with him on his hand picked Superintendent Choice Committee and an insult as well to every parent, student, teacher and administrator now serving the public schools here.

Even the mayor expressed doubt about the process and the fact Abruzzese never consulted with him.

“Why haven’t they been given interviews?” he asked at the meeting.

In Mrs. Gauthier’s case, Abruzzese ordered the SSC not to allow her to be interviewed despite 49 years of stellar and faithful service to the Everett community, including her stint as acting superintendent which she has handled with skill and great care. Plain and simple, she was discriminated against.

Obremski’s 30 years of faithful service to the community he loves and where he lives didn’t mean anything to Abruzzese. Obremski’s knowledge of the School Department budget and how the system works is second to none.

Plain and simple, he was discriminated against.

Easy’s tenure here and his background as a product of the public schools, as a great success and role model as an extraordinary athlete, father, husband and mentor to the city’s public school children was entirely overlooked; totally ignored.

He was discriminated against.

In a school system populated largely by children of race, color, and ethnicity, Easy was the only candidate who truly represents the Everett Public Schools demographic.

Before the School Committee is bullied into voting for one of the four finalists, none of whom knows anything about this community, none of whom live here, none of whom represent the student body or understand anything about the city’s politics or its reason to exist, the three Everett applicants must be interviewed and judged on their merits.

Has Abruzzese bullied his colleagues into silence?

It certainly appears this way.

Abruzzese is not a positive force for change. He is a nasty, negative guy who ordered the School Superintendent Search Committee not to interview local candidates.

“Over my dead body,” is almost exactly what he said to his colleagues at the beginning of the process.

Bullies like Abruzzese with his own angry and exclusionary interpretations of what is right and wrong should not be allowed to exclude supremely qualified local candidates.

Where is the School Committee’s collective voice?

Do any of them have an ounce of spine to confront this distasteful and crude descent into discrimination and exclusion?

And what of the finalists themselves?

Do any of them have the professional or personal backbone to ask the search committee that the locals be interviewed as a matter of what is right and fair?

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