Call for Trustee Dan Cunningham's Resignation
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The undersigned call for the immediate resignation of Trustee Dan Cunningham for conduct unbecoming of a school board trustee and for not conducting business in accordance with the governance standards adopted and incorporated into the Board's Bylaws. The reasons are explained below.
October is National Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month. Unfortunately, Trustee Cunningham has displayed bully-type behavior for many years. Trustee Cunningham has shown on several occasions to be publicly disrespectful and demeaning toward his colleagues (particularly toward the newest members of the Board) and toward constituent speakers whose viewpoints do not align with his own during open session Board meetings. He often does not appear to be listening to public speakers, or he is looking at his phone, or smirking and rolling his eyes. This type of unprofessional behavior has gone on for years. This type of behavior is not the embodiment of governing with dignity and professionalism.
The accounts of his unprofessional behavior and lack of decorum are too numerous to outline here; however, what provoked this movement is his most egregious behavior to date. At the most recent Board meeting, October 10, 2017, Trustee Cunningham escalated a situation and threatened violence toward a member of the public. To be clear, a parent speaker who was sitting in the audience called out "shut the F--- up, Cunningham" when he witnessed Trustee Cunningham whisper/mouth "that's bulls---" to another Trustee while student speakers were up at the podium addressing the Board about their dissatisfaction regarding Teacher contracts. The parent was in direct line of sight to Trustee Cunningham and could easily read his lips. It apparently angered the parent enough to blurt out the vulgar statement; however, he is a member of the public, not an elected official held to a higher standard. Please note, the parent's behavior was not ideal and we do not condone the use of vulgarity - as stated, though, he is not a public figure with a duty to act with dignity and respect for all viewpoints.
A few minutes later, when it was the parent's turn to speak at the meeting, he went up to the podium and told the Board that he had a prepared speech but decided against giving it because he was so angered by the lack of decorum of the Board, particularly Trustee Cunningham. He called out Trustee Cunningham's behavior (whispering "that's bulls---" to another Trustee) and then told him that he should leave his friend's house and move out of Dublin (recently this past Summer, Trustee Cunningham sold his Dublin residence and his family moved out of State). Trustee Cunningham broke Board protocol and directly addressed the speaker and told him that his last comment was out of line. The speaker sat shortly after and then within a few seconds of Trustee Cunningham sitting back in his chair staring at the parent, he said, "do you want to go outside", escalating the situation and inciting violence. Here is a link to the School Board video: http://pbtech.org/clients/dublin_cc/dublinusd10102017.html
The behavior exhibited at the last Board meeting and prior to amount to bully-like behavior. There is no other term to describe his lack of decorum and unprofessional conduct. This type of behavior and derogatory attitude should not be tolerated, especially from an elected official who shapes our education policy and serves as a role model for our students attending Dublin schools. We are beyond apologies, Trustee Cunningham should do the right thing and resign his seat on the Board.
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