June 16, 2019
Response from the Slater Family:
The Slaters were extremely disappointed in your ill-informed opinion piece. Has the Superintendent not earned any respect for her hard work and contributions to the community?
The Superintendent did not affect any varsity playing time for her son. As a junior in 2018-2019, Max was at or near the bottom of minutes played for the varsity basketball team. Check the game records. Max has never played nor pitched one inning for varsity baseball. Check the game records.
Dr. Slater strongly disagrees with the school board on the issue of team sport sharing agreements, especially with HTC. Team athletics such as baseball, softball, and such are the only sports where varsity playing time is at the sole discretion of the coach. Other sports such as track, tennis, and such allow for individual competition to determine varsity spots. Dr. Slater believes only if FMHS does not have the participation numbers or facilities should sharing agreements for team sports be used. Dr. Slater believes that these athletic opportunities should go to Fort Madison public school student-athletes. Every time an HTC player takes the field, they are taking away opportunities from FMHS student-athletes, most of which don’t have the financial means to attend a private school.
Dr. Slater did nothing wrong. The Superintendent simply advocated for the FMCSD families she was hired to serve and represent.
As to baseball, you have completely misled your readers. Check the game records. In actual innings played, based upon 8 players (pitching excluded) in the field, HTC players have accounted for an estimated 30-35% of the playing time. Apparently all that matters are wins, not how and at what cost those results are attained.
The Superintendent has been frustrated with the culture and past performance of the FMHS athletic department and tried to make positive changes but has had little support. Dr. Slater even had to weather an attempted “coup” by Ryan Wilson last year when he tried to rally other FMHS coaches into “striking” over perceived slights. Ryan Wilson holds a strong grudge against Dr. Slater.
Our open enrollment request has nothing to do with sports. What a childish and immature conclusion to reach. Since we arrived from Chicago, Max has suffered persistent harassment at the hands of his fellow students because of his mother’s job. And since the beginning of March the situation has gotten much worse.
Our son Max is held accountable by classmates for decisions made by the teachers, administrators, Superintendent, and school board. A record of the harassment that has occurred since March 2019 was presented as part of our open enrollment application. We fear for Max’s safety and well-being. Along with the misguided parents on social media, you have only made this situation worse for our son.
Shame on you for preaching to us about how to properly raise our children. You know nothing of our family. All you do is criticize and think the worst of a dedicated public school educator. Max Slater will not attend Fort Madison High School in the fall. One of Fort Madison’s top students will not graduate from FMHS.
Dr. Slater will not sign another contract extension. Dr. Slater’s current contract will be her last with FMCSD. It was an extremely poor decision to so quickly turn on Dr. Slater. All you have done, along with the lack of support for Dr. Slater and her family, is vilify a positive force in the community and help drive an exceptional Superintendent from Fort Madison.
Editor’s Note: The above letter was received via email from S.S. as part of a group email to Pen City Current’s editor and all Fort Madison School Board members.