As a former NHUHSD trustee I find Dan Johnson's plagiarism and his continuing silence on the matter appalling. I am also shocked at the lack of public response by the school board and administration as a whole. At the least I would have expected the district to call an emergency board meeting to draft a timely public response. And, I would expect that response to state that the district understands the seriousness of the issue, plans to review its bylaws to see if they specifically address plagiarism by a board member and will make a commitment to explore appropriate and timely action.
As I see it, the public is rightfully outraged. No amount of charitable or civic activity should excuse Mr. Johnson's plagiarism; certainly no other positive attributes of a student are considered when he or she plagiarizes. No, the rules and consequences for a student are very clear and severe. Why should anything less apply to a school board member? Also, Mr. Johnson's plagiarism should not be minimized or excused by raising the possibility of his ignorance of ethical standards in education.
In my opinion there is only one thing that can adequately address Mr. Johnson's breach of those ethics: his resignation.
The next regularly scheduled NHUHSD board meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 13 at 6:00 p.m. on the McKinleyville High School campus in the multi-purpose room. Whether the issue is on the agenda or not, the public is given time at the beginning of all NHUHSD board meetings to speak on any issue they please. I would encourage the public to attend that meeting.
Kathleen Marshall, Arcata
Editor's note: "Media Maven" Marcy Burstiner addresses this controversy.