I am writing in response to Tom Loeffler's trivial complaints presented in last week's edition of the Roundup. Firstly, I'd like to say that I, too, have sympathy for the high school students whose senior prank led to several unfortunate consequences; however, unlike Mr. Loeffler, I believe, in accordance with the law, that the students received a just punishment.
Trespassing and vandalizing school property is a felony punishable by law and by school officials.
I also strongly disagree with Mr. Loeffler's incomprehensive evaluation of Superintendent Casey O'Brien's performance this past year. Mr. Loeffler's several references to the senior prank incident seem to indicate that his grievances are based solely upon his dissatisfaction with the disciplinary actions initiated by Mr. O'Brien in response to the senior prank. Mr. Loeffler is apparently so deeply absorbed in the incident that he has overlooked the many positive contributions made by Mr. O'Brien over the course of the year.
Mr. O'Brien's publication for the Payson district outlines the facts regarding school safety, and as featured in the Roundup this past January, describes the measures teachers and administrators have taken to promote a safe and positive learning environment for Payson High School students. He recognizes the challenges that [must be] overcome to allow students to achieve academically, and hopes to improve academic success by providing instruction and reinforcement in what correct behavior looks like in hallways, classrooms, lunchrooms, and buses. Mr. O'Brien's disciplinary strategy has proven successful over the past year.
As mentioned in his article, endangering incidents on campus have fallen significantly in both the middle school and high school. In addition, Mr. O'Brien has contributed to maintaining Payson High School's classification by the state as being a highly performing secondary institution.
Though Mr. Loeffler may disagree with the way Mr. O'Brien has implemented discipline in this particular incident, he cannot refute the evidence that points to our superintendent as being a highly competent and capable leader for Payson Unified School District.