On Sept. 27 we received an update from the Pembina Hills Public Schools detailing how they’ve decided to file complaints with three different authorities regarding former Supt. Colleen Symyrozum-Watt.
We also knew that Symyrozum-Watt has been looking into taking some kind of legal action against Pembina Hills, but we didn’t think that the division itself would pursue any further action, beyond terminating her employment.
To see that the situation is serious enough that Pembina Hills believes it warrants the involvement of the RCMP is bit of a shock.
Full disclosure: despite following this story closely, we still don’t know what the allegations against Symyrozum-Watt entail.
If you read our front page article, you’ll see that in their motion to terminate the superintendent, trustees cited allegations of harassment and contraventions of board policies around per diems, expenses, vacation days and other financial matters.
They also claimed that she lied to the investigators.
These are very serious if true, but we can’t say one way or another. For her part, Colleen Symyrozum-Watt maintains they aren’t.
Perhaps, then, the school board is doing the right thing by forwarding these allegations to the RCMP, the Office of the Registrar and the College of Alberta School Superintendents. Let some independent body assess the evidence and decide one way or another.
However, one thing does give us a bit of pause in this whole situation.
Following the Oct. 16 election, only three of the seven current trustees will return to Pembina Hills and the other four will be newcomers.
With only three weeks left, the current board has thus made a decision that will have significant implications for the future, but that they won’t have to deal with.
Should they perhaps have waited? Let the new people weigh in on the findings?
Perhaps that would be too much to put on their shoulders, but it seems odd the trustees waited until what seems like the last second to make this decision.