Another open letter to the Hayden community,
So in the last week of January, Hayden School Superintendent Trudy Vader got busted for driving under the influence, and the school board placed her on paid leave.
Now what? What should be done?
One school of thought is that she should be fired. Maybe we could even ride her out of town on a rail and for local color, add some tar and feathers.
Or,…maybe we could recognize that substance abuse is a disease and rally ‘round Trudy and help her overcome this mistake and help her get well. Or at least on the path toward wellness, since substance abusers are always recovering and never recovered.
I would hope that the community and the board could see a way to take the second option. I think Trudy has the makings for a great superintendent.
I also think this is a “teachable moment” about substance abuse. Trudy is going to have a long engagement with law enforcement, the courts, medical community and substance abuse counselors. If she testifies to students that she made a mistake, that substance abuse is real and scary and treatable, Trudy is going to have their full attention. Maybe she can convince students to be careful with alcohol and other substances. Maybe, because of Trudy, some kids will never start down that pathway. Maybe other students (or teachers, or parents) will recognize that if she can get help, maybe they can too.
What do you think? Share those thoughts with your school board members.