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Comments

Danita and Kevin Bergrud

In planning for next year, if you're still principal, I do hope you decide to offer the children the same things they enjoyed in the past. An in-school Halloween party - Valentines should not be up to each individual teacher, but celebrated by all. Show the kids how to celebrate and embrace other cultural beliefs. Allow the kindergartners the play with each other as they are waiting to go in. Let them RUN. Let the kids do kid things at recess - Let them play tag or flag football and RUN IN THE PLAYGROUND. LIKE THEY USED TO... Why are the children forbidden from doing kid things? It feels like you are taking away all human contact. Other schools in our district offer and allow many of the things you are forbidding at Owen. It seems like you are changing an awful lot in such a short amount of time without getting a feel of how things are progressing. After you told me that you didn't have a problem with parents believing an "untruth" you told them. We figured right. You have an authoritarian leadership style - Which doesn't seem appropriate for an elementary school atmosphere. Also - we would so much appreciate a reply to our emails. Is it not your responsibilty to respond to your parents that ask questions and not ignore them?

Jason Bednar

Many of the rules you have concerns about have been in place since the building opened. I would encourage you to look at the parent handbook regarding SmaRt Choices on page 15. I did not change anything on this chart and it has been consistent since the day the building opened. We ask students to walk on the playground for safety reasons. We allow students to run on the field, and ask them to walk on the abrasive surfaces of blacktop or mulch. These rules are not to prevent children from having fun; they are meant to ensure our students have a safe play environment.

Kevin & Danita Bergrud

Of course we're all for safety. These our our babies in your charge. What is making us question some things we see is when I called to have Sarah brought in from being outside because she had her eyes dialated and I realized she forgot her sunglasses. If you recall, I was told on the phone, "It is policy that all children go outside during recess and Sarah WILL be going outside." I was utterly surprised! Her well-being was not taken into account with this "policy".

Then in regards to telling the kindergartners that "they were not allowed to play" as they were waiting for the doors to be opened... There is no such thing in the policy handbook about this and yes, we are well acquainted with it. Let the kids run - Let them play. It's really not healthy to put the kids in a bubble. It broke my heart when a sweet little kindergartner told me that my daughter was uncharacteristically hanging onto me and dismissing my encouragement to go play with her friends because "they were not allowed to play".

Can you not find it in your heart to let the kids be kids - On this issue and others as well.

Jason Bednar

The school has ample opportunity for students to engage in play while being supervised by school employees. In addition to the lunch/recess time, many teachers take students out for extra recess to help burn off some energy and to help students focus throughout the afternoon. Unsupervised play is never allowed as it is our responsibility to make sure students are safe.

We have discussed the other issue you raise several times. At all times, doctor notes are absolutely followed by our health assistant and nursing staff. That is among their primary responsibilities and they have never failed to live up to those expectations.

Owen Parent

Regarding the May 11th posting, Hillary was apparently right. It does take a village to raise a child. Guess that 100 yards from your house to the school to drop off sunglasses seemed insurmountable.

owen parent

I have beeen in the kindergarden rooms several times and i have observed very little time for the kids to interact with each other in any unstructured way. I understand other schools at least have center time where the kids can decide with whom and what to play. I loved seeing the kids interact before school. I was proud of the resolutions I observed, the creativity, and the friendships developing. Is this emotional and social development not important too. Did you know that when the kids were told they could not play tag, they chose to play duck, duck goose on their own; They all sat down in a small circle, took turns, and played beautifully. What is wrong with allowing kids to play respectfully. It was not loud, or dangerous. I was watching a first grade class have recess today and my kindergardener's comment was " wow is that all the time they have" What about developing all aspects of the child's development. I just don't get it.

Jason Bednar

Our kindergarten classes also use center times as part of the less structured time intended to give students a chance to develop independent work and socialization. We definitely value the social and emotional development of our students and our teachers do an excellent job of caring for each student's complete development.

Our rule regarding PM kindergarten arrival is only due to potential injury issues if the children are running around without school supervision. As our kindergarten children move into 1st grade and its full day schedule, parents will be able to see how our team puts an extra recess in during warm weather for students to have creative play time that also re-energizes students in the afternoon.

Owen Parent

In regards to the 5/11/07 entry, it is the responsibility of a parent to ensure that a child has whatever is needed to address any personal needs. I have a child with special needs that frequents the nurses office. It is MY job to ensure that all supplies are on hand for my child. The school should not have to make concessions because a parent did not appropriately handle or plan for a particular need.
In regards to the 5/14/07 entry, I have had 2 children go through kindergarten at Owen. In the past, center time has taken place several times a week. The groups were routinely switched up so kids could interact with all of their classmates. Center time also allowed the teachers to spend a little extra time with those who might need it. It also allowed the teacher to assess children on a 1:1 basis. This too ultimately, benefits ALL of our children.
Many of the entries above mention play time, parties, etc. At the end of the day it is the responsibility of the parent to exposure their children to various cultures and activities. It is the responsibility of a parent to teach their children how to cultivate friendships and to incorporate play time into the day. Parenting is a package deal you don't get to pick and choose which parts you want to participate in and which parts you want the school to handle for you.

Angie Gaul

VERY well said! I've been following along with all of the posts here, letters to the editor, and the other various forms of communication used to complain about the social events and atmosphere at Owen. Each time I've sat down to respond, I've been at a loss for words, because I don't even know where to begin. It's completely absurd to think that it's the school's responsibility to socialize the students. The staff at Owen is fully qualified to assess the needs of all students and teach accordingly, and yes, socialization is important-it's how we all learn to get along. However, their time each day is limited and academics must come first. It's our responsibility as parents to shape our children and fill in where we see fit-whether it's more socialization, more faith, more athletics, or whatever. Also, socialization is much more than just "fun stuff". There are opportunities throughout the day for children to socialize-upon entering school, in their classroom before school starts, while working on a group project, in specials classes, at lunch and recess, as well as many others. As for the fun stuff, the PTA has provided at least one family event held after school every month since October. There have also been events before and during school. If one thinks the students at Owen aren't having fun, he hasn't looked past the end of his own nose and opened his eyes to all of the wonderful things happening at Owen. Each time I'm in the building there's laughter and interaction and in-depth learning taking place, and Owen continues to perform well by measurement standards. This goes to show that the teachers at Owen have found the balance necessary to produce well adjusted, happy, productive students.

Kevin & Danita Bergrud

To Owen Parent - May 14 - First of all if you cannot write your name and be proud and stand behind your entry - Don't add it. Second of all - stating I felt it was insurmountable to travel 100 yards to drop off the sunglasses the dr gave my daughter... Who said I was home when I realized she didn't have them? Those that do not know the whole story should not comment. Fair enough?

In response to Angie Gaul's comments... It's quite interesting that our PTA president doesn't feel that socialization is important in school. Then she states that the kids can socialize before school. Well, according to a letter that recently came home, the kindergartners playing and SOCIALIZING before school seems to be punishable by detentions and even expulsion! I'm sure you can get a copy of this letter referring to the student manual and the page with the consequences as well.

Also - It would be so nice Angie, if you would not ignore the issues we bring up by blocking our emails and refusing our certified letters. A PTA president should be more willing to hear of and try to fix issues brought to her by parents rather than simply being a "yes man" to the principal. And for the record - The teachers at Owen - the TEACHERS - are and always have been extraordinary. We praise them for their love of teaching and the care they give all of our children. Thank you Owen Teachers.

Angie Gaul

Speaking about not knowing the whole story and not commenting...how do you know that the same person posted the comment about walking 100 yards and the one on May 14th? I know for a fact that they aren't the same person...hmmm. As for socialization not being important, where did I say that? Or is it just you again twisting anything that is said to your advantage? Also, did you miss the part where I said that socializing isn't all just "fun stuff"? I'm sure the kindergarteners can talk to one another as they stand in line waiting to get into the building. I understand if they can't once they are in the building-there are classes going on-just as the a.m. kindergarteners have to wait quietly at dismissal time. It's all part of being a kindergartener.
As for ignoring your issues, I've addressed every issue you brought up. Just because things don't change, doesn't mean they weren’t addressed. As the PTA president, I don't operate alone. There is a whole board who are involved in making decisions as to what's best for the PTA and the families at Owen, not just an individual. Every action we take as a board has to be voted on and approved. I don’t even get a vote unless there is a tie. So as for being a “yes man”, it’s not even possible.
As for blocking your emails-I told you I was going to do that and told you to leave me a voice mail if you had something NEW you'd like me to address. I refused the certified letter (which had no return address on the envelope-I had to ask the lady at the post office who the confirmation of receipt was being sent to, and she had to pry back the green card to find it) for the same reason I blocked your emails-your communications were harassing. Subjecting myself to that is not part of my duty as a PTA president (as you've been told by my PTA superiors). I've publicly been quite for quite awhile. It's time for the truth to come out. If you choose to continue to twist and misrepresent the truth, I'll continue to let everyone know how it really is.

Owen Parent

In reference to the numerous postings, perhaps they aren’t responding to your e-mails and letters because:

a. you have nothing new or relevant to say.
b. you never listen to what they have to tell you.
c. they just don’t want to talk to you.
d. ignoring you is easier than getting a restraining order.
e. all of the above.

As you did in one of your postings, I thought I might do some name dropping (names that are much higher up in the pecking order than Mayor Pradel). No, that wouldn't serve any useful purpose. I'm sure that your visit with Mayor Pradel was memorable for both of you and I sincerely hope you got a photo together to hang over the fireplace. I must admit that I'm really curious why as a responsible parent, you continue to send your children to a school that is so blatantly riddled with safety hazards and other issues (not enough parties and social activities). To coin a phrase, "take the deal." Use the exemption. Oh yeah, as for not telling you who I am, do I come across as being completely nuts? I have no desire to be added to the list of people that are constantly barraged by your harassing e-mails, business solicitations, and conspiracy newsletters. Regardless, I truly believe that deep down you are a good person and have good intentions. I'll add your name to the prayer list at church.

Kevin & Danita Bergrud

Angie - This may show a small slice of how this "mis-information" comes about and how "some" try to mislead others... You state "How do I know that the same person posted the comment about walking 100 yards and posted the blog on May 14th? And that you know for a fact that they aren't the same person...hmmm." I didn’t say a thing about 2 entries being by the same person. (I had 2 comments on the “May 14, 2007 at 07:59 PM” post) I’m not quite sure what you’re meaning by this.

You stated in your entry above that “It's completely absurd to think that it's the school's responsibility to socialize the students.” Well, according to the District 204 parent handbook, under Philosophy, it states… District 204 provides the instructional activities necessary for each student to develop intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally. So this leads me to believe that it IS part of the school’s responsibility to socialize students. We’re sorry you think it’s absurd but the district obviously decided to make it part of their goals. I was on the PTA board too if you remember, so I have an inkling about policies and procedures, right and wrong etc.. I figure that’s why you may not like me.

You say you've addressed our issues. We've not seen a response to many which is why we had to send the certified letter you refused. Which, by the way, HAS to have a return address on it for the sender to get the receipt back. Other’s involved got and signed for their letters – only you did not. So once again - "mis-information" is being spread.

So- here are the issues we are waiting for answers on - I'm sorry you feel the questions are "harassing" - they are simply bringing up interesting points that you may or may not want to address. You said above that you’ve addressed every issue we’ve brought up – I’d like to know how that is possible when you admittedly don’t answer our email inquiries. Again, that “mis-information” rears it’s ugly head.

1. From my Jan 22 email - How are parents informed of what transpires at the pta meetings? We feel we (and all parents) should be informed of all that transpires at these meetings as they directly impact our children. No- We're not talking about the newsletter or special mailings sent out – How are parents informed of what was discussed, voted on etc.? You told me the PTA did not allow the minutes to be posted on the website. Is there another way you can share the minutes with the parents?

2. From my Jan 4 email - At pta meetings - Why is the budget just flashed on an overhead and not handed out as it has been in the past? My point for this is that parents need to be able to have time to review it and see where their money is going. It is only right to disclose information openly. I've brought this point up numerous times. Yes, we can request one - but many don't - we just blindly trust. By studying the budget, this is how I found out some events we were budgeting for were being cancelled. I think parents should have the budget and all it’s changes - in their hands.

3. On your Feb 27 email - Angie, you stated that you have "quite a few" parent's emails that are returned to you - undelivered. You state it is their responsibility to make sure they are getting their emails.. We thought this was silly - as how do parents know if they are not getting something? Anyway, we asked if you sent anything out in hard copy to tell parents that some mails are not getting thru to some and offer them alternatives? What about the people that don't have email or check it regularly... How are they being informed of things? These questions were never answered.

In your entry above you state that our inquiries are “harassing” In your email to us On Mon, Jan 8 you said you were no longer answering our emails because "My enforcement of the confidentiality statement has been brought to your attention" when I found out and was not too happy when “someone of authority” at the school was blind carbon copying his friends on confidential issues. We find it interesting that the reason you refuse to answer our inquiries has changed. Our inquiries just bring up some good points that parents should be aware of and we don't feel that ignoring them is the answer. Isn’t part of the PTA mission to “encourage parent and public involvement?” That’s what the mission statement says anyway.

SO again we ask - What is the PTA policy on accepting and answering parent’s inquiries? I imagine if they have nothing to hide there should not be a problem with answering parent's inquiries - even if there is the standard confidentiality statement at the bottom...

As for questions not answered by our principal that we would like addressed as well –

1. Emailed you many times, had personal conversations with you and even a meeting with you and your boss. Why do you both refuse to tell parents - in the same manner the "mis-information" was shared with them - the truth about the district's vote on Halloween? Why do you say that you have no problem with parents thinking the vote is final? If I were principal I would want to be honest with the parents of the children they entrust to me. I’m SURE you know – this issue has not been voted on yet and has even escalated to other similar issues – partly because of what has transpired at Owen. Anyone can call the 204 school board or go to their website. The vote is actually scheduled for this Monday.

2. emailed you 5-2 I noticed that a flyer came home advertising a cheerleading clinic that is a “for profit” company. This is per Julie at their office. The school district states that no flyers can go out that are “for profit” organizations. Was wondering why this one was ok’d by you.

3. Email to you 5-2 Begging you to reconsider your decision to make the kindergartners “stand quietly in line while waiting for the school doors to be opened.” Not allowing them to interact nicely with their friends – which they ALWAYS did and to forbid PLAYING!!! In this email I asked if the issue was with any noise and suggesting that maybe the teachers could keep the windows closed for the 10-15 minutes they were out there. We asked if there were other issues that could maybe be addressed. Well, it’s 15 days and still no response from you.

4. We sent you a certified letter and got the receipt back that it was signed for. It’s been weeks and no response.

5. We sent you and email 5-2 – Telling you that we are waiting on a response from the letter. We stated that you, as the school “administrator” are required to answer parent’s inquiries- but still no response.

6. 5-2 email – Reminding you that you oversee the PTA and asked you what you would be doing about the issues they have not addressed. Again, no response.

Do you not think this cat and mouse game is childish? You need to be accountable to the parents of the children in your charge. As an unidentified parent – who didn’t want to attach a name to their entry – questioned… Why not go to another school? Simply – we adore and appreciate our teachers. No higher forces could make them into bad teachers. This is why Angie sees happy students when Angie enters the school. Our teachers can make the best out of most anything. MOST anything. Other issues are out of their hands and this is what we have issues with.

And a big THANK YOU to the other unidentified parent who offered to add my name to the church prayer list. (Are we the only ones brave and confident enough to put our name on all our transmissions? We obviously have nothing to hide and much to prove.) Please do keep us in your prayers. I have prayed on this as well.

angie gaul

Dear Owen families and others who may be reading this,
First I’d like to apologize that what was intended as an open forum communication tool for our principal has in some cases turned into a bashing and defending of myself and the PTA. I’ve given this much thought, and spoken to Jason about this, and in conclusion, at this point feel it is best to one last time share the PTA’s side of things. I know many of you already understand the situations, (and thank you on behalf of the PTA for your kind words of support), but there are some who don’t, and don’t have the background or information necessary to make a sound conclusion about Owen and the PTA. Until now, I realize it’s been a he said-she said. I’ve spent much time pulling together old emails and information as evidence to back up what I’ve said earlier. Please understand that I’m not trying to win a popularity contest, but trying to preserve the integrity of the PTA I represent. If you have any thoughts or feedback regarding the following, if it’s appropriate, please post a response. Otherwise, please feel free to email me (Yes, Danita, your will still be blocked.). As I said, I’m giving this one last shot. If you see or hear things going forward, please consider the source and ask questions before passing judgment.
As for posting anonymously, I completely support your right to remain anonymous and not open yourselves up to the attack I and others have endured. It in no way diminishes the validity of your thoughts.
Below I have addressed each point from Kevin and Danita Bergrud’s last post. I have taken the issue or question part of each point and copied it directly from their post to this one, hopefully making it easier to follow. Their text is first followed by my response in parentheses.

You stated in your entry above that “It's completely absurd to think that it's the school's responsibility to socialize the students.” Well, according to the District 204 parent handbook, under Philosophy, it states… District 204 provides the instructional activities necessary for each student to develop intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally. So this leads me to believe that it IS part of the school’s responsibility to socialize students.

(Yes, it is a PART. There is a difference between it being the school’s responsibility to socialize the children and providing them with the instructional activities necessary…as you’ll note in my previous post, I mentioned that there are opportunities throughout the school day for students to socialize. I still believe the primary responsibility of our schools is to educate the children, and you’ll see that “intellectually” is listed first in the mission.)


You say you've addressed our issues. We've not seen a response to many which is why we had to send the certified letter you refused. Which, by the way, HAS to have a return address on it for the sender to get the receipt back.

(Again, the envelope itself did not have an address on it. Yes it was on the green card that the postal worker had to pry back to read me the address. Refusing it had more to do with it being from you than the fact that I had to ask for the return confirmation address. As you’ll see below, all of the issues you’ve brought up have been addressed.)


1. From my Jan 22 email - How are parents informed of what transpires at the pta meetings?

(Here’s the response I sent on January 22nd.
Date: Mon Jan 22 17:03:03 2007
From: angie gaul
[ Add to Address Book | Block Address | Report as Spam ] To: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Cc: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Subject: RE: minutes

You can receive a copy of the minutes by contacting Shannon Danko, and a copy of the budget by contacting Jackie Greenwald. The minutes are not posted on the website due to PTA recommendations. The items discussed at meetings are shared via the website or via email as necessary.
Angie

Also, here’s the email response from the state PTA web chair about posting things on the website. I forwarded this to you in October, but I’ve included it here for others to see.

Date: Tue Oct 3 22:54:15 2006
From: 2ptaers
[ Add to Address Book | Block Address | Report as Spam ] To:
Subject: Re: web question

Angie;
Unless you have a password secure section, we do not recommend putting items on your website that are intended for your members only. Bylaws and treasurer reports are two of those items.
It is highly recommended by the IRS and by us in Creating a Website. I shall email you a copy tomorrow.
Judy

And here’s another portion of a response sent to you by the district director:
Question 1 & 2 : You have been told numerous times the Minutes and Budget should be requested from the Secretary and Treasurer. They are trying to conserve paper, which I find a very noble. And since you are not the only person that has to follow those same guidelines, I see nothing wrong with that.)


2. From my Jan 4 email - At pta meetings - Why is the budget just flashed on an overhead and not handed out as it has been in the past? I noticed at the meeting this year, the budget wasn't handed out as it has been in the past. It was on an overhead. Why is this?

(My and Jackie’s condensed responses are noted below:

On Fri 11/17, angie gaul wrote:
From: angie gaul [mailto: ptaangie@excite.com]
To: danita@bergrud.com
Cc: jagreenwald@comcast.net
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2006 18:10:46 -0500
Subject:
Hi, Danita,
I did get you message the other evening (late when I got home from work). I don't keep a copy of the budget, since it's a work in progress. I talked to Jackie, and she said she'd get in touch with you. I talked to her again this afternoon when I got your 2nd message. She said she emailed you regarding the budget. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks,
Angie

Date: Sat Dec 30 21:50:05 2006
From:
[ Add to Address Book | Block Address | Report as Spam ] To:
Cc: Kristin Miceli ,John Goluch , , , ,
Subject: PTA Budget

Hi Danita,
I will attempt to answer your budget questions based on the correspondence between yourself and Angie.

The budget was presented on overhead as I did not know how many copies were needed. This also conserves natural resources and PTA dollars. I made copies for those who requested a paper copy after the meeting. The September budget was in paper form for all those who attended. The September budget was given to you.

Jackie

I’ve also included Danita’s response, acknowledging Jackie’s information.

Date: Thu Jan 4 16:50:18 2007
From: Danita Bergrud
[ Add to Address Book | Block Address | Report as Spam ]
To:
Cc: Kristin Miceli ,John Goluch , , , ,
Subject: Re: PTA Budget

Jackie, I so much appreciate you addressing these questions honestly. Thank you so much. Danita )

3. On your Feb 27 email - Angie, you stated that you have "quite a few" parent's emails that are returned to you - undelivered. You state it is their responsibility to make sure they are getting their emails.. We thought this was silly - as how do parents know if they are not getting something?

(I’ve explained this and my district director has explained this. Part of her email response to Danita is below:

Question 3 : Technology being what it is, it is not the PTAs responsibility to make sure your computer is working and it is unreasonable to expect that. E-mails change, people change e-mail companies and servers go down, also not the PTAs responsibility. I honestly believe if communication was a true issue at Owen I would have more than just you complaining about it. I also believe that most of Owen parents are intelligent and responsible adults and if they need the information they can ask.)


Anyway, we asked if you sent anything out in hard copy to tell parents that some mails are not getting thru to some and offer them alternatives? What about the people that don't have email or check it regularly... How are they being informed of things? These questions were never answered.

(Here is a copy of an item that was sent our hard copy explaining our communication:

Dear Owen Families,
The Owen PTA has many fun and exciting events planned for the year, and the only ways to find out about them are by signing up to receive email updates from the PTA or checking the website at www.owenpta.org. This will be the last paper notification that will be sent out. If you’d like to be added to the email list, please send an email to Angie Gaul, PTA President, at PTAAngie@excite.com with your name and email address. If you’ve already received emails about PTA events, there is no need to resign up. The following is a list of upcoming events. Stay tuned (or check the website) for more details.
• October 10th-Market Day We’re going for record numbers so we can give away a freezer. If you’ve never ordered, consider giving it a try this month
• October 13th-7 p.m. Family Movie Night (movie selection will be sent via email and posted on the website)
• October 20th-Class parties Celebration of our school’s birthday
• November 3rd-Family Science Night sponsored by our Owen dads
I also encourage you to sign up for the Owen and District 204 listserv to receive important information from the district and the school. (This is different than the PTA information.)


In your entry above you state that our inquiries are “harassing” In your email to us On Mon, Jan 8 you said you were no longer answering our emails because "My enforcement of the confidentiality statement has been brought to your attention" when I found out and was not too happy when “someone of authority” at the school was blind carbon copying his friends on confidential issues. We find it interesting that the reason you refuse to answer our inquiries has changed.

(There is a difference between not responding to your emails-as noted in my email below-and blocking your email. These 2 items happened at different times for different reasons.
Date: Mon Jan 8 16:32:02 2007
From: angie gaul
[ Add to Address Book | Block Address | Report as Spam ] To:
Cc: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Subject: questions

Danita,
I have received your most recent emails, but have already answered all of the questions you are reasking. I'm sorry if you didn't like the answers the first time. Because you continue to twist words and misrepresent information, when I respond to your emails, I feel it necessary to cc our board, the principal, and my PTA "bosses". Your enforcement of your confidentiality statement has been brought to my attention. I'll be happy to respond to any of your emails that do not contain this statement and ask new questions.
Angie)


SO again we ask - What is the PTA policy on accepting and answering parent’s inquiries? I imagine if they have nothing to hide there should not be a problem with answering parent's inquiries - even if there is the standard confidentiality statement at the bottom...

(I’m not sure why the confidentiality statement could be removed in order to receive answers, but as all can now see, these questions were addressed earlier in a timely manner. As I said previously, just because someone doesn’t like the answers or doesn’t see change, doesn’t mean they weren’t addressed.)

6. 5-2 email – Reminding you that you oversee the PTA and asked you what you would be doing about the issues they have not addressed. Again, no response.
(Jason does not oversee the PTA. The PTA is a national organization completely independent of any school. He does determine what the PTA can and can’t do during school hours, but all school day activities approved by him are carried out according to PTA guidelines by PTA volunteers. He in no way, shape or form has any influence over the actions of the PTA, other than to cast a vote or act as any other member. That said, the PTA has an excellent working relationship with the school administration and staff. )

Does it Really Matter?

Jason / Angie: I applaud you for your patience in dealing with the incessant postings, e-mails, certified letters, and face-to-face meetings. I am saddened to think that every minute spent dignifying these communications is a minute of life lost forever.

All: The series of postings reminds me of two important etiquette guidelines for weblogs:

1. Never launch a personal attack on someone. It lessens your credibility and will not lead to a solution.
2. If you are the victim of a personal attack, the best practice is to ignore it. From the attacker’s perspective, a response serves as validation. The result is a downward spiral of attacks.

If there is anything right remaining in the online world, there will not be a single additional response to these truly insignificant and misdirected allegations. The opportunity cost of each minute of life is too high.

For those keeping track…that’s five (5) more minutes gone forever – my first and last five minutes.

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