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Well, I guess I could congratulate the school board for successfully diverting attention from our children's well being by bringing up an issue that they know people are passionate about, such as our mascot.

I have sat in on several school board meetings in the last few months where I witnessed each time several students and students that are on the football team literally in tears begging the school board for support and counseling, someone to help their young brain make heads or tails of everything going on with the school they were once so proud to go to. And it is disgusting how you sit there with no expressions on your faces.

Parents have repeatedly asked for direction and leadership to the hazing so they can try to discuss this with their kids. And you have done nothing but force the resignation of Troy Mott and his staff.

Last year, my son's grades started slipping. For weeks, I tried talking to his counselor and no help was given. I met with Ms. Petrie, and still no help. Then I spoke with Troy Mott and with out hesitation he said "I've got this."

Troy Mott gave his lunch break to sit in his office with my son numerous times over seeing personally that my son was getting his work done and help he needed. You have taken away the only one who these boys have to go to, who cares, and they trust.

It is said you made several mistakes in the handling of all this. If you did, a true leader would stand up and admit that and take steps to correct it.

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You clearly have no regard for what is in the best interest of our children. It is appalling that the school board is willing to take special time to address a mascot with no regard to our children and their mental well-being. As it is, teenagers these days don't seek out guidance from adults very often and when they're literally begging for help something seriously is wrong and must be addressed.

Ruining these children's educational careers is never an answer because they are children. A more suitable answer might be too teach these children a lesson in humility. There is a lot they could learn having them have job of picking up trash in front of their peers at lunchtime for the school year or even having to speak to the school in a rally about their actions.

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That's the kind of thing you would do to teach them a lesson. Taking away a school education is not punishment. It is more like a possible life sentence. You are pointing them in a downward direction instead of teaching what's wrong with what they did and showing them a healthy direction to move forward in.

The mascot issue needs to be be put on a back burner and the mental health of these children addressed.

Elisa van Der Heyden

Napa

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