Like so many of our good neighbors I have a deep love for the Oxford Hills.

I have worked alongside many of these neighbors on volunteer boards, attending church, watching our kids and grandchildren play sports. One can feel the community pride and spirit.

It has been with great sadness and a certain amount of shame that I have watched a small group of people bully our school board to the point of some of our board members resigning and, in the case of my friend Sarah Otterson, being subjected to the ridicule of a recall vote.

Sarah was recalled for one vote that didn’t meet approval. She has made many contributions to the Oxford Hills School community, casting many votes and serving tirelessly on the curriculum committee.

A more constructive way for us to address our differences is through open and respectful dialog. That was the intention of the school board when it announced the policy it was working on, regarding student gender identity.

If we could have lowered our emotions and faced the fears that caused such a response, we might have come up with a policy that was acceptable to all. Instead, this small vocal group has given our beloved community a black eye.

As we go forward, and the school board attends to its duty to write a policy, I hope we can find words that heal as we work to make this community one where all our children feel safe, affirmed and proud.

Rev. Don Mayberry, Norway

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