SOUTH BEND Roger Parent has issued his resignation from the South Bend school board.
In a letter, he explained to school trustees that "prevailing circumstances" have made it impossible for him to be "productive as a trustee on important challenges facing the district."
"Since, as a matter of principle, I don’t stay on a board unless I can make a significant difference, I’m obliged to resign," Parent concluded.
The following is the full letter Parent sent to the South Bend School Trustees:
I resign my position as Trustee-at-large of the South Bend Community School Corporation effective May 31, 2014.
I’ve worked hard to increase expectations for our schools by trustees, administrators, teachers, students and their parents. As one example, upon taking my seat on the board in January, 2009, I pushed successfully for a mandate that students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to participate in extracurricular activities. Throughout my tenure, I’ve continued my efforts to elevate expectations and standards in many other areas.
I’ve spent thousands of hours doing what was possible to improve the schooling of our students, with considerable success. Now, I find that the prevailing circumstances have made it impossible for me to be productive as a trustee on important challenges facing the district. Since, as a matter of principle, I don’t stay on a board unless I can make a significant difference, I’m obliged to resign. Furthermore, to continue on the board not being able to satisfy fully my oath to serve our community would be a disservice to our students.
I commend the many hard working persons who prepare our students to be productive citizens in today’s world.
Serving our citizens and students for the past 5 ½ years has been an honor for which I’m very grateful.
Fellow school board member Bill Sniadecki says frustrations are at an all-time high with the superintendent right now citing a lack of communication between the board and Dr. Schmidt.
“I thought about resigning the last several months because of the different things going on in the school corporation like changing of grades and not bringing things to the board,” says Sniadecki. “Things are happening without the board's authorization and there's a certain group of people on this board that are letting her get by without actually following the rules.”
On Thursday afternoon, Superintendent Carole Schmidt released the following statement:
We are sorry to receive Mr. Parent's letter of resignation from the Board of School Trustees.
During his tenure on the Board he provided his extensive experience and leadership toward improving the district.
It is with great appreciation that we acknowledge his service and commitment to the South Bend Community School Corporation's staff, students, and families.
He will be missed and we also wish him well in all future endeavors.
This is a developing story. Check back throughout the day for reaction from the school board and community.