In response to the article published regarding Mike Downing’s termination from RSU 16 (March 28), I am beyond infuriated by the situation. As an alumnus of RSU 16 and an African-American, it is an embarrassment to the local community and state that a bigoted man was allowed to be employed by a school district for as long as he was.

I don’t see how he can be a positive contributor to society or have the children’s best interests in mind.

The notion that some have offered that a blind eye should be turned toward Downing’s comments due to the behavior in Washington, D.C., only validates Downing’s comments and only encourages such awful behavior. Which, in turn, sets a terrible moral standard for the children of the community.

As for the RSU administration, I have serious concerns relating to their policies and procedures. If Downing presented a historic track record of hateful speech, why did it take so long for him to get terminated? In corporate America, one comment like his and you are fired on the spot. Why is it more acceptable in a field revolving around children? It is clear that there is no standard within the administration and major changes are needed.

The community deserves competent education leadership rather than deplorable individuals such as Downing. The biggest surprise here won’t be if Downing doesn’t last on the board, but, rather, if RSU 16 does absolutely nothing to rectify a shameful educational culture.

Elijah Breton, Poland

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