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Art's Statement to the School Board after they dropped their removal attempt

Statement to School Board after they dropped their removal action. .

     It is with a heavy heart that I see the school board refusing to consider any alternative to the Board’s and Superintendent’s personal attacks on me and my family.  This will not heal this community and school, nor improve any relationships in the school board, nor allow us to be role models for the school.   It would be easy to laugh at the impotent school board and Superintendent’s action after the direction provided by the Federal Court in that they cannot remove me. But the school board has a knife in my back.

I would like to start by quoting George Orwell (the author of 1984 and Animal Farm): “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

What is obvious? 

The School Board and Superintendent attempted to remove me from the Board, and they failed.

This attempt by the School Board has cost the school District upwards of $200,000.

The School Board and Superintendent threw every legal action at me that money could buy  (and the Duluth taxpayers paid for); and they used every dirty trick in the book and failed.

What is obvious?

The School Board relied on a report by Rice where there were no oaths given.

All the reports conclusions were her personal opinions.

She omitted all statements that didn’t support her opinions.

There were no police reports of the alleged shove claimed by the Superintendent, Miermicki,  or Westholm.   Why? Because their charges were all made up.

What is obvious?

In order to stop the Superintendent’s and the Board’s action to remove me from my elected office, I filed a counter suit in Federal Court to stop their removal action. 

The Rice report was the only exhibit given to the Federal Judge by the School’s attorneys.

On May 6, the Chief Judge Davis, after reading all the attorney statements and the attachments, and the Rice Report, indicated that the School Board could not remove me for the reasons they have stated.  Period.

What is obvious? 

As soon as this punitive action against me by the School Board was in front of the Federal Judge, the school Board’s case against me crumbled.  When the School Board knew that they were up against an impartial Federal Judge, where oaths were to be given, they immediately gave up. 

The Rice Report was nothing but political assassination by a hired gun; 

I disagree that the Rice Report was accurate. I made no attempt to influence the outcome of a staff meeting on May 12, 2014. I never shoved or grabbed the Superintendent or a fellow board member on June 4, 2014. Those charges, and others, are false. 

The Board’s removal resolution is based on disapproval of what I had said about the business of the school. It is unfortunate, but I had to resort to the federal courts to protect my right to speak freely on behalf of the voters who elected me.

So what is this all about? 

The school board’s and the Superintendent’s harassment, intimidation, and lies. 

To sum up the Superintendent’s  action, I would like to quote liberal columnist Kirsten Powers in her new book Silencing:

 “The [Superintendent and School Board].. believe that people who express ideological, philosophical, or political views that don’t line up with their preferences should be completely silenced.  Instead of using persuasion and rhetoric to make a positive case for their causes and views, they work to delegitimize the person making the argument through character assassination, demonization, and dehumanizing tactics. These are the self appointed overlords—administrators journalists, and politician—who determine what views are acceptable…So shut up or else.”

So why am I here?  Why didn’t I quit a long time ago?  Because the school board and the Superintendent have a knife in my back.   But it is obvious that it is nothing but a rubber knife, and a rubber knife can’t hurt me.  But a rubber knife tactic would be grounds for expelling students from our school.  What about this empty, incendiary hate speech that this board and Superintendent have leveled against me?  They would all be expelled if they followed their own rules. 

This action by the school board to drop its case against me is a victory for:

The U.S. Constitution and its 1st and 14th amendments and protection of free speech.

A victory for all elected officials in our government. 

A victory for the people in West Duluth that elected me. 

A victory for open, transparent, and accountable government. 


.   I would like to thank many people and organizations that allowed me to survive this barrage of hate:

The Framers of our Constitution who believe in free speech that would enable right to prevail. I would like to thank the Federal Court system—thank god there is a Federal court that people in Duluth can turn to—that put a stop to this nonsense.

I would like to thank all the people that supported me in this horrible action by the Superintendent and School Board.   The literally hundreds of people that recognize me wherever I go and that tell me to not give up, and that if the Superintendent is successful at removing me, they will re-elect me again because I represent West Duluth.  

I would like to thank all the people in Duluth who told me that they want a government of people that THEY elect—not someone appointed by five power-tripping board members, directed by the Superintendent, that think they can remove anyone that they want to, and overturn an election, because they don’t like what someone says.

I would like to specifically thank Member Harry Welty for speaking up for truth and honesty on this Board. 

I would like to thank the alternative papers in Duluth; the Zenith and the Reader Weekly, specifically essayist Loren Martell, for writing about the truth and having journalist standards.  And thank the TV reporters for trying to report on truth.

I would like to apologize to the person that I love, Jane Bushey, my spouse and partner for 15 years in that she is still being harassed by the school administration because we are together. To her and all the people that are being harassed and intimidated by this Administration:  DO NOT GIVE UP.

I find this very sad.  I had proposed to the Superintendent  that we take another route and try to heal and show leadership.  I indicated that my fantasy, hopefully goal, would be that we could all shake hands in front of the camera.  What a glorious picture that would be for our school and community.   It is sad that instead, this Superintendent and Board have decided to continue fanning the flames of hatred.


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