The recent news that Department of Education officials are planning to transfer the principal of the St. Croix Educational Complex, Mr. Kurt Vialet, to another school has politics written all over it. Can you imagine your boss saying to you, “Editor, I am transferring you, I don’t know where, but I’m sending you somewhere else.” Now, were this an honest effort to have Mr. Vialet possibly attempt to improve a different school, wouldn’t there be a plan, or a thought process, as to where he will go and who will replace him?
It is obvious that this transfer is politically motivated. If this transfer is allowed, it has the potential to be a “Pandora’s box” of possibilities. It means that every government worker, whether considered “exempt” or “non-exempt” may face consequences for openly supporting the candidate on the wrong side of an election.
Transferring a successful principal because he supported a different candidate. My fellow Virgin Islanders…. that isn’t politics! That is petty vengeance at the expense of our public school students. All Virgin Islanders need to recognize that this is part of the problem with our government. Politics dominate everything, who gets hired and fired, who gets promoted, all regardless of performance, we say it’s “who you know.”
We are a small community, an “everybody knows everybody” community, we should be able to understand that on many an election day we will be on opposite sides, but when they day is over, we can come back together to improve the community in which we live. When we allow politics to dominate everything we have our present situation, failing publics schools, out of control crime, increasing debt, and a government worries about who voted for me rather than who is best qualified. Remember, President Obama hired Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State after a heated primary election. Proving that even on the highest level of politics, we can put our difference aside for the betterment of our community.
Department of Education officials need to adhere to the idea, “if it isn’t broke, don’t break it.” Leave Mr. Vialet at the Educational Complex.
R. Arthur Burton
St. Croix Educational Complex Alum
Good day. In response to your commentary, isn’t this what “politics” supposed to be? We the voting public have given politicians certain powers because of the office that they hold, and we don’t hold them accountable for their actions. If politics dictate that the Governor has the power to move around principals, hand pick their staff and do what they feel is in the best interest of these islands; then the governor is doing his job. If we have a problem with that, then we need to change the rules of being a politician (i.e. the levels of his power) and hold them accountable to that or stop complaining. What is happening now, with Mr. Vialet, is nothing new.
Efficiency is not one of our government’s strong suits. I agree, if it works (in a positive manner) then don’t mess with it. Unfortunately that is not the manner in which we have led our leaders to believe we want. In a time where our fiscal situation is at its worst, we need to ask ourselves is moving a principal a really important task? In the first place I will ask, what for and why now? Does this situation reek of vengeance, I would say yes.
It is clear that freedom of choice is not as free as we think it is, but WE have allowed it to be so. WE have allowed things to get this bad (I am not saying it is totally our fault). I agree some sense of normalcy and consistency appears to be a good thing, but it is apparent that having a principal that knows the students first names, has helped to build the school from the ground up, and continues to make the school a better place; is not a major concern for the person in charge. I think moving Mr. Vialet, after all that has happened, would send an unclear message to the children of the Virgin Islands. They saw something they didn’t like, they organized (in a non violent manner) a protest and voiced their concerns. To move Mr. Vialet would show that their efforts were in vain. Let’s see how this turns out, but know this, if we want our elected officials to do better job; we need to hold them to a higher standard by giving them clear instructions on how to do the business of the people, AND being unified in our actions when letting them know when they aren’t doing what they are expected to.