I owe my readers and the school officials who traveled to Japan an apology.
A person with knowledge of the trip, not affiliated with the Polk School District, has made it clear to me that the Polk School District itself did not send these folks to Japan. They applied through a University of Texas program and took vacation time to do it. Much remains unclear to me about the trip; but that's no fault of the people who are on it.
When I wrote about the trip earlier, I meant to leave the funding and sponsor of the trip unclear because I was unclear about it. However, I used the word "sent" in relation to the District. I should not have. I apologize for it and regret it. I edited that quickly. But I was also unnecessarily pointed in my overall critique. And upon further thought, I have removed the entire passage referring to the Japan trip from the piece I published this morning.
My goal in writing about this trip at all was to underline to the real people in district-level positions that the real people at the school level, over whom they may have power, watch their actions. And it was to let these folks know that there is a lot of anger and pain out at the school level at the perceived indifference of the Bartow office to their experience. Indeed, people in schools have seen the Facebook feeds of these folks and reacted badly to them. I've seen some of the reactions. The juxtaposition is painful to them.
My goal in giving voice to this pain, which is real, is to address it in a way that leads to a new spirit of cooperation, common purpose, and respect among everyone involved. That's why I'm running.
However, my intentions are irrelevant. My execution this morning did not serve the purpose I'm pursuing. For that, I am sorry. And I am grateful that I have readers who will hold me accountable. We all have to be accountable to each other. That certainly starts with me. And it will continue if you elect me to the School Board.