I learned of Mike Downing’s termination of employment with RSU 16 and his subsequent election to the school board in an article published in the Sun Journal (Wednesday, March 28).

To say that I was shocked by the article would be an understatement. As a parent, a woman and a person of African American descent, Downing’s words, conduct and apparent lack of understanding of human decency are counter to everything that I stand for, and that I am trying to instill in my children.

He is entitled to his beliefs, but I have some, too.

I believe that Superintendent Tina Meserve was fully justified in relieving Downing of his position with RSU 16, based on the information in the article.

I believe that a person considering a lawsuit against a school district may not be capable of working collaboratively with the board that oversees that district.

I believe that people in leadership positions must set an example for the people around them, including the hundreds of children being educated in RSU 16.

I believe that we have an obligation to prepare the students in our district to thrive in this world. Our contributions should be positive. Our actions should be solution-oriented.

There is an undeniable conflict of interest in Downing’s election to the RSU 16 board. I believe that he should be relieved of this position as well — whether on his own accord, or through removal by the board and/or people of the town of Minot.

Christina Noonan, Minot

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