An open letter to the BUSD Board of Education: Is Merrill Grant the bedrock in which this board plans on building the future trust of Brentwood’s students, parents and educators? Is he the face that this board feels is the best portrait of their responsibilities, values and expectations for the educational system of Brentwood? Do you plan on standing alongside him or separating from him?
Merrill Grant appeared to have been the best candidate to the board when he was interviewed and hired to lead this district. I don’t know the specific expectations that the board placed upon Merrill Grant regarding the direction and goals of the district.
However, I am overly confident that it was not to allow him to make harmful and costly decisions and to lose the confidence of parents and teachers. An official vote should be made for you to ask yourselves whether he is the most qualified individual to continue to hold this position.
We all fall prey to the feeling of trying to “protect our own.” That is typically defined along family ties and jobs. That protection is fostered and garnered upon unspoken bonds that are defined by such things as love, morals, ethics, beliefs, character, faith and empathy.
We quickly forgive those who take a worthwhile risk and fail if their effort was genuine in their attempt to better a situation. We have learned the result of protecting our own when they are done with purely selfish intent when others are harmed or the hope is to blanket future embarrassment.
Did Merrill Grant try to protect Dina Holder because they share the same attributes of character, morals and ethics? It is undeniable that the weight of his decision to place Dina Holder back into a special-needs classroom will be either the defining monument or headstone of his career. The board now has the sole responsibility to choose which to carve. Is Merrill Grant one of your own?
I pray that he did not act in lock step with the attributes of this board. Having Merrill Grant take a page from the playbook of what Penn State has admitted was a failed policy to protect a prominent program should not be rewarded by this board. The community has lost its faith in Merrill Grant’s leadership and now it is up to this board to restore that confidence and divorce Merrill Grant from both his job and leadership ties to Brentwood.
Change at the top allows for gravitational and sweeping changes throughout the system. It allows errors of the past and the supporting framework for those errors to be torn down and rebuilt.
Simply put, bring in a new leader that can structure a new administrative team. This new team will allow wounds to heal and provide the board the opportunity to raise this district to envious heights. Now is the time to reset the expectations that this board has for its superintendent, and there is no better way than to start fresh.
Please begin an immediate search for a new superintendent and quickly free us, and yourselves, from Merrill Grant. If you feel that he mirrors your vision of the district, keep him. If not, let him go. Now is the time to let the students, parents and teachers of this district to know your values and your vision.
I implore the board to be the leadership body that this city elected and do the right thing by holding a vote regarding Merrill Grant’s future with the district.b
Concerned residents can let the board know where they stand on this issue by contacting the BUSD Board at www.brentwood.k12.ca.us. Scroll over Administrative Services and then click on Board of Education. You can also call the superintendent’s office at 925-513-6300.