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Breckenridge superintendent, school board clash

Associated Press

BRECKENRIDGE, Minn. — Accusations of unethical conduct flew as a dispute escalated this week between members of the Breckenridge School Board and Interim Superintendent Greg East.

The flash point at Monday night’s meeting was an attempt by board member Kathy Radig to revisit her proposal to hire another fifth grade teacher, an issue the board had taken up and dropped a couple times earlier this year.

After Radig continued to press the issue, East cleared his throat, and said, "OK." He then stood up and took a tape recorder from his pocket. "I am going to record what I have to say," he said.

"I have thought long and hard about whether or not I would ever do this," he said. "Certain things have transpired that have left me no choice."

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East accused Radig of contacting parents of home-schooled children and actively attempting to recruit fifth grade students in an effort to exceed the number needed to justify hiring an additional teacher.

"The self-gain for your child cannot be ignored," he said.

Radig said she would have pursued an extra teacher whether or not her child was in the class. East said that wasn’t true. He asked her if she had contacted any parents of children in other grades with high numbers of students.

Radig did not reply to the question.

"I apologize," Radig said.

As East continued to confront Radig on one issue after another, he stressed that all of his concerns were not only with Radig, but with other members of the board as well.

East told the entire board he would not sacrifice his legal, ethical and moral standards to appease them.

"I am tired of handling you with kids gloves," East said. "Don’t lob surprises at me and don’t lay bombs at my doorstep."

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East said he had been "told and reminded" that he was only an "interim superintendent." He said he had been encouraged when he first took the job because he was told he might be able to stay should everything work out.

"That hope has been squashed," he said.

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