Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.

Dear editor,

As the April 6th Wausau School Board election draws near, it has been disappointing to see the hypocrisy of existing school board members and certain candidates.
Ms. Martin recently wrote about the impact of bullying. And Ms. Zunker spoke with a group of students and followed it up with an online post about how words matter and dehumanize. I fully agree words leave a lasting impact. It is our responsibility to be careful with our words and response to other’s words, especially when in a leadership role.

This week a citizen posted a FB message and said three Wausau School Board candidates, “ARE the The American Taliban.” Although Ms. Martin and the candidates have no control over what a private citizen might say online, they certainly have control over their own response. Ms. Martin’s comment was “Nicely said.” And, Ms. Zunker, Ms. Gruling, and Mr. Bisgrove “liked” the post. 

Not one of them denounced the use of such an inflammatory, disrespectful and insensitive application of these words toward their opponents on that post. How is that not bullying? How is that not the exact behavior they supposedly denounce? That is not the character of a leader. That politically-motivated behavior does not belong in our schools or on our school board. Our teachers, kids, and community deserve better.

Jon Creisher, Karen Vandenberg and Cody Nikolai have not responded to this horrible attack and instead stay focused on the issues and what they bring to the table. They deserve a public apology for the hypocrisy these “leaders” have shown through their online activity. Although the original post appears to have been taken down, screen shots of the post, comments, and “likes” don’t lie and will live on forever. 

I am sorry for what they have had to endure during this election and throughout the year as they fought to reopen our schools. I thank them for stepping up and taking action to bring integrity and trust back to the Board.

Melissa Klade, Wausa