I attended both of the sessions held to hear comments and questions about the possible change in the middle school structure. The school board and administration did not have to ask anyone for input, but they chose to include input from a committee. The committee didn't need to ask for input from anyone, but they chose to hold these open sessions.
There were voices of support and voices of opposition. There were good questions and legitimate concerns.
But the attitude of a significant number of speakers, especially at the second meeting, was extremely disappointing, although not altogether unexpected.
For some reason, there are people in this community who believe they have the right to attack anyone who is involved in decision making. Some of the comments were nothing more than angry, mean spirited, baseless accusations.
Those people repeatedly stated that no one was going to listen to them anyway. Why would anyone expect to be taken seriously when they start their comments by attacking the integrity or intelligence of the people they are speaking to? And in this case, the people they were attacking were volunteer committee members who were just listening.
In recent years, the lack of civility towards community volunteers and elected officials has become so serious as to be offensive. We need to change the culture here to one of respectful challenge rather than attack.
As we have seen in Washington, very little is accomplished when we spend more time attacking other people than just talking to them.
By David W. Pederson, North Platte