May 6, 2003
Duluth News Tribune

Why should the School Board or any of us care about a hockey coach? Actually the real issue in Mr. Randolphs dismissal isn't about hockey at all. It is about the heart and soul and integrity of the school system, how it treats the people who give students their heart and soul. The school district has a teachable moment. What will we learn?

We've learned a lot about Mr. Randolph- fifteen years of dedication, a record of excellence that has earned a statewide reputation of achievement for Duluth Schools. The passionate loyalty of past and present students who credit him with teaching them about far more than hockey. And courage. The courage to turn down the cynical offer of a ceremony to hide the unseemly nature of his dismissal. The courage to face down the rumors, innuendo, and anonymous slander directed at him. The courage to formally waive his privacy rights to seek the truth. Otherwise, we would never know how flawed the decision making process in dealing with employees has become.

Superintendent Almanza said there was no cause for Mr. Randolph's dismissal. It was described as "in the best interests of the students and district." It appears that petty jealousy, hidden agendas, and slander are more valuable to the district than years of teaching high standards, discipline, and striving for excellence. It appears Mr. Randolph has more interest in the truth than administration officials. It appears mistakes have been made, but whose mistakes?

Education is about people. People make mistakes. Mistakes can be addressed, forgiven, and set right. The truth is in the best interests of everyone. The time has come for a reassessment of a flawed decision. I trust we will learn that a public school bureaucracy has enough people of courage and integrity to set things right.

Matt Doyle

Matt hand penned the following note to me on his letter-to-the-editor which he also sent to me.

FYI Harry - This is partly why I think the issue is important far beyond the present case. Matt