Tuesday evening's meeting of the Wood County Board of Education could have been a productive discussion about problems - and possible solutions - concerning Edison Middle School's gifted education program. Unfortunately, the board's - and especially board member Jim Fox's - demand that the meeting become an inquisition took away any chance of productivity.
The target - the wrong one it turns out - was Wood County Schools Director of Special Education Yvonne Santin. Fox was especially vicious in questioning Santin about problems with Edison's program even though Santin told the board this was the first she had heard of this problem. And Wood County Superintendent Pat Law said the problem was his responsibility, that oversight of Edison's program had been inadvertently lost in the shuffle of a reorganization necessitated by the retirement of then assistant superintendent Frieda Owen.
This did not appease the usually somnolent Fox. "It's wrong," he fulminated. "It's absolutely wrong. I want someone responsible for this."
Yes, students in a gifted program should be challenged by more that just playing board games. Law should have prevented this from happening and he needs to make sure it does not continue.
However, that does not justify the purely unprofessional treatment Santin received at the hands of board members, who, quite possibly were attempting to grandstand for the large contingent of southside residents attending Tuesday's meeting because the Parkersburg South High School wrestling coaching job was scheduled to be discussed.
Tuesday's public brow-beating of Santin was wrong, and she is owed an apology - especially by Fox for his rude, boorish behavior.
The board should remember what its job entails. And despite what Fox may think, it does not entail micromanaging.