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Trustees Attend Common Core Meet

Confusion re: whether Trustee Terri Seymour "hosted" the anti-Common Core discussion at Candlelight Church Fellowship last night stems from this Facebook invitation that went viral locally after it was circulated to friends of the two women.

From Coeur d'Alene Press story re: Common Core discussion:

Coeur d'Alene School District Trustee Terri Seymour (pictured) was one of three of that district's school board members to attend the presentation. Tom Hearn and Dave Eubanks also attended. Last week, Seymour asked Coeur d'Alene Superintendent Matt Handelman to forward an invitation to attend the Common Core talk to all school district employees. Seymour told The Press Monday afternoon that she wasn't promoting the presentation, and that she doesn't have an opinion on the standards yet. … She said she is not hosting the event, and acknowledged that she had Becky Funk help her set up a Facebook event so she could invite her friends to attend the talk. … Trustee Christa Hazel told The Press she did not attend because she did not think the presentation would be objective. Hazel said she has discussed the topic at length with Sen. Goedde and with local teachers. She attended the state's Education Task Force meeting last spring, and said she supports the standards. Full story here.

Question: Should all Coeur d'Alene School Board trustees have attended this presentation by out-of-state individuals opposed to Common Core?

Seymour Rips Huckleberries, Press Blog

During Coeur d'Alene School Board meeting, Terri Seymour spoke out tonight against the "bully blogs" (part of the anti-bullying presentation). SReporter Scott Maben provides this report:

“It is huge in Coeur d’Alene. When you see the blogs on the Coeur d’Alene Press and especially on Huckleberries, it saddens me to see – I don’t blog; I do read them. But it is unbelievable how nasty and vicious people can be. And here we are as a school district trying to teach our children not to do this, not to cyberbully, not to bully, when the parents and the adults are doing exactly what the students are learning to do. And so I would ask that our community step up to the plate to encourage the Press and The Spokesman-Review to rein that in, because it’s vicious and this is what we are teaching our children, and it’s shameful. It saddens me to be a part of the community that there are so many vicious people out there that can’t treat each other with respect.”

  • DFO: After the candidates forum at the Mica Grange Hall, I told Terri that she may be confusing legitimate, pointed criticism for cyber-bullying. Obviously, she didn't agree. I try to keep things between the lines here without killing the spirit of the discussion. It's not an exact science.

Question: Do we have a cyber-bullying problem here at Huckleberries Online?

Regan, Seymour Decry Cyber Bullies

On his campaign Facebook wall, appointed Coeur d'Alene School Board Trustee Brent Regan reports re: a cyber task force meeting that occurred Wednesday. Seems Huckleberries and the Coeur d'Alene Press Online comment sections were mentioned in the same breath of cyber bullying. Regan posts: "Vice Chair (Terri) Seymour (pictured in Coeur d'Alene School District photo) agreed and suggested that Mr. Patrick and Mr. Olivera (sic) be approached on the subject. The question is how we can tell our children not to cyber bully others when the blogs are full of adults who cyber bully?" Regan commented that Seymour had an "excellent point." Huckleberries heard from another source that Seymour referred to the comment sections for Huckleberries Online and Coeur d'Alene Press as "nasty" — and suggested that the papers be approached to seek to substantively change the current interaction that happens.

Question: Is it possible that the Coeur d'Alene School Board trustees are mistaking online criticism for bullying?

CdA School Board Is Out Of Touch

The Coeur d'Alene School Board individually endorsed the Luna Laws after stopping short of collectively taking a stand as an entire board. Trustees Terri Seymour and Ann Seddon did so in writing. Of Proposition 3, Seymour and Seddon wrote in a letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press editor:

We fully support Proposition 3. Technology has become essential in 21st century schools. The proposed computing devices are a tool and not a replacement for teachers any more than textbooks replace teachers. It is a rare student who can obtain a college or technical degree without taking an online class. Students need this skill. Classes can also be taken through interactive computer classes with a real teacher instructing the class. Most teachers would treasure the ability to individualize instruction with computer applications.

Proposition 3 was overwhelmingly rejected at the polls, statewide and locally. The other two propositions failed badly too, a repudiation of all those follow-the-leader partisans who blindly follow the Otter administration and Superintendent Tom Luna. So you have to ask yourselves:

Question: How out of step is the current Coeur d'Alene School Board that includes three appointees?

Press: Resist Recall Itch

Recall the recent recall effort? That one, aimed at Coeur d'Alene city leadership, ultimately failed but lessons were learned along the way. The most important lesson learned was this: Recalls are divisive legal alternatives that rip open feelings and render cooperation much more difficult for people on both sides of the issue. A secondary lesson is that recalls are instruments that should replace normal elections under only the most dire circumstances. We do not believe the recall effort against Coeur d'Alene City Council members warranted that level of political warfare earlier this year, and we do not believe a recall effort against Coeur d'Alene School Board members is warranted now. While there has been no formal announcement of a recall attempt against the school board, a number of citizens have contacted the newspaper offering that suggestion. We know it's being discussed and debated - around the coffee table if not in front of the schools' trustees/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Would you support a recall against the Coeur d'Alene School Board?

Trustees Sign Online Anti-IB Petition

It appears that Coeur d'Alene School Board Chairman Tom Hamilton and Trustee Terri Seymour signed an online petition against the International Baccalaureate program on Aug. 8 of this year, only days before voting to phase the program out of Coeur d'Alene schools. The anti-IB petition has been circulating for years. The petition and its wording, with addendum, can be found here. Hamilton and Seymour were part of a unanimous 4-0 vote Aug. 13 to phase out the IB program at Lake City High. The two could vote tonight to end the elementary school equivalent of the IB program, Primary Years Programme, at Hayden Meadows. The addendum of the online petition states, "

We, the undersigned, request Federal legislation to prohibit the expenditure of U.S. taxdollars (income and/or property taxes)on UNESCO and any of its affiliates, in particular, the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) and IB's programs as they pertain to U.S. public schools. We believe that IB programs are unduly expensive, foster anti-American sentiment and seek to indoctrinate American youth in order to devalue their American citizenship and undermine our sovereignty as a nation in favor of global citizenry. Public schools should be apolitical. 

  • On signature page 2, #68 & 69 is signed by Aileen and Duncan Koler on May 24, 2010
  • On Page 20: #992 Brent Regan, and #994 Tom Hamilton signed on Aug. 8, 2012
  • On Page 21: #1007 Terri Seymour signed on Aug. 8, 2012
  • Local Anti-tax activist Sharon Culbreth signed at #1019.  Her post included the following comment: "This is America, we do not need socialism and $ sent to other countries. We need to educate our children, improvement yes, not socialism.


New Trustee Active In Recall Effort

James Purtee, the newly appointed member of the Coeur d'Alene School Board, sets up an inflatable at McEuen Field over the Memorial Day weekend, supporting the attempted recall of Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and three City Council members: Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy. A Berry Picker reports: "Later, I saw this was little colorful air balloon with giant letters that said Recall CdA.  From Front Ave, it was not very visible behind the trees and below the parking lot line of sight."

Question: Some Coeur d'Alene residents are concerned that two Coeur d'Alene School Board members actively support the recall effort — Terri Seymour, one of the original signers of the petition to launch the recall, and now Purtee. What do you think?

Tom Not Likely To Back Wanda Pick

Coeur d'Alene School Board Trustee Tom Hamilton reacting on his Facebook page to possibility of former trustee Wanda Quinn being reappointed to School Board: "She is certainly welcome to put her hat back in the ring although I don’t have any idea if she intends to. I will be honest with you and tell you that while this was never about Wanda, it will be difficult for me to support her reappointment. I would never besmirch her character, but I do feel she showed very poor judgement in allowing this to go to court. Don’t forget that Terri and I asked no less than 3 times for an administrative solution to this issue. One of those was a motion at a Board meeting that Wanda refused to allow to come to the table. I said all along that I never wanted this to go to court, but I would see it through if I had to. Unfortunately, that is the path they chose…"

Question: Does this statement affect Tom's ability to stay neutral should Wanda apply for reappointment?

Mary Elated By Quinn Ruling

Predictably, Mary Souza is trumpeting the decision by a 2nd District judge that booted appointee Wanda Quinn from the Coeur d'Alene School Board. Mary, of course, views that as good triumphing over, ahem, evil: "And so the fight for honest, legal, responsible government goes on.  More and more people are getting involved and taking a stand.  WE, the people, are making a difference.  Let’s push through our defeats and celebrate our victories.  Every single person who is working for better government here is a star.  Thank you for your efforts! And cheers to Terri and Tom who, with their courage and resilience, have given us all new hope that the system can improve." Mary is right that the huns are storming the gates, trashing public servants like Wanda Quinn, Sandi Bloem, and others who have done more to improve our community than they ever will. You can read Mary's latest spiel here.


Judge Voids Quinn Appointment

A judge in Kootenai County district court has declared the June 6 appointment of Wanda Quinn to the Coeur d'Alene School Board to be null and void. Trustees Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour, who were elected in May and sworn into office on July 1, filed a complaint in district court in July. The complaint alleged that the process the board followed when former board chair Edie McLachlan resigned on May 19 was illegal. It further alleges that the appointment of Wanda Quinn to complete McLachlan's term is invalid/Coeur d'Alene Press.


Lake City Trustees Chat Up Luna

Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna (right) talks with new Coeur d'Alene School Board Trustees Terri Seymour and Tom Hamilton at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Kootenai Techical Education Campus in the Rathdrum area Tuesday. (Photo special to HucksOnline)

Christa: IB Audience Misbehaved

Christa Hazel followed a report re: the IB (International Baccalaureate) meeting last night: "I am disappointed that there are so many community members not ashamed to be openly rude and it seemed to fall on one side.  Some people barked at the speakers when they couldn't hear or the speakers were too loud.  One older man interrupted a lady who was speaking about IB teachers like Mr. Ruskovich  and asked why Mr. Ruskovich sends his kids to Charter Academy.  Mr. Ruskovich, from the audience, re-directed the attention by stating, "Why don't you ask me that question, Sir." As an audience member, it was difficult to hear all of the speakers because of the side conversations in the audience.  One man kept muttering "this is bull****" and kept raising his hand as though he wanted to question each speaker." Full meeting report here. (Christa Hazel photo: Debbie Morris addressing Wanda Quinn.  Matt Handelmann, assistant Superintendent is seated next to Wanda.)

Question: I noticed this same phenomenon during the final meeting on proposed McEuen Field changes — older adult people in the audience acting like 2-year-olds when they didn't agree with something being said. Why are people in this town so disrespectful in public settings when they disagree with something?

Reagan Repubs Target School Board

On his Facebook wall for the Reagan Republicans, Jeff Ward posts this Action Alert: "Please attend this evening's Coeur d'Alene School Board Annual Meeting (5 p.m. at the Midtown Center Meeting Room) and support Terri Seymour's and Tom Hamilton's request that the board follow state law in the filling of Board vacancies. They have filed a lawsuit to stop the installation of an illegally appointed Board Member and Chair. Please turnout to support honest and open government." Over the weekend, some on the other side of this issue circulated e-mails seeking a turnout for tonight's meeting when Seymour & Hamilton will be present at their first school board meeting since taking office. Looks like a run time will be had by all. (Coeur d'Alene School Board clerk Lynne Towne swears in Trustee Tom Hamilton July 1)

Question: Can someone explain how Hamilton & Seymour will be immune from a suit that they filed against the board on which they now sit? And is this lawsuit an indication that the nonpartisan School Board will become dysfunctional not that partisanship has been introduced?

Brooks Defends Appointment Process

Item: Coeur d'Alene trustees-elect Hamilton, Seymour seek slowdown in appointment process/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: (Resigning CSB Chairwoman Edie) Brooks told The Press that the board won't wait to make a decision, and that she will help select the appointee. "It's my seat that's being filled, and I really have an interest that someone who thinks close to I think takes my seat," Brooks said. "Everything we're doing is legal."

Question: Should Chairwoman Edie Brooks have the right to help choose her successor?

Hamilton, Seymour Protest Process

Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour, who were elected in the Coeur d'Alene School District trustee races last month, are accusing the district of "unnecesssarily rushing the appointment process" of Chairwoman Edie Brooks. In a letter sent to Superintendent Hazel Bauman and the Coeur d'Alene Press, Hamilton and Seymour said no reason has been given to expedite the process. And they contend that the district and other trustees are trying to exclude them from providing input. They said in the letter: "We wish to make clear our desire to be included, so that we can start to build a foundation for cooperation among trustees." You can read the rest of the letter here.

Question: Should Hamilton & Seymour be included in the selection process for a new trustee? Or will that deadlock the process?

Ward: CdA Was ‘Dream’ Campaign

Item: Trustees: Time for change: School board elections saw more campaigning than in past races/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Ward is president of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, an activist group that endorsed and campaigned on behalf of Hamilton and Seymour. "In Coeur d'Alene, I see the situation that the voters were really responding to was a school board that was not being responsive to them," Ward said. "It was kind of a closed system, with the shutting down of public comment, and some of the decisions they made in terms of contracts."

Question: Were Coeur  d'Alene School District voters wanting change when they voted in conservative Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour or reacting to a partisan campaign?

Hamilton, Seymour Win CdA Seats

Item: Newcomers claim school board seats: Hamilton, Seymour triumph in Cd'A/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour have been elected to serve on the Coeur d'Alene School District Board of Trustees. In Tuesday's election, Hamilton received 758 votes, unseating incumbent Stephanie Powers in the Zone 2 race. Hamilton earned 89 votes more than Powers, representing 52 percent of the 1,458 votes cast in that trustee zone. Powers received 669 votes, 46 percent of the votes.

Question: How will the election of conservatives Hamilton and Seymour affect the Coeur d'Alene School Board?

RRepublicans Target School Elections

The Kootenai County Reagan Republicans are targeting school board races now, as they plan a "Super Saturday" door-to-door campaign to support conservative Republicans in trustee elections in Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls. The RRepublicans will meet at 10 a.m.  Saturday at Post Falls Super 1 to walk the streets for Post Falls trustee candidates Bonnie Beaulieu and Rob Moser. Another group of RR Elephants will meet at 10 a.m. at 9638 Ptarmigan/Hayden to walk streets for Coeur d'Alene candidates Terri Seymour & Tom Hamilton.

Question: What do you make of local Republicans trying to take over, even in nonpartisan races?