Have to accept Berriman decision

Tom Berriman has a lot of support in this community.

A Facebook group called I Stand With Principal Berriman had almost 300 followers as of Monday evening, and dozens of residents have spoken on his behalf at Alpena Public Schools Board of Education meetings.

Those supporters did not get their wishes, as the school board voted Monday night not to renew Berriman’s contract at the end of this school year.

The board voted six to one not to renew the contract, with board member Eric Lawson as the lone dissenting vote. Berriman’s contract expires on June 30 and he will receive compensation and benefits until then.

The board ultimately decided Berriman violated district policy when he picked up a student who was acting out and carried the student to an office.

“The board has considered all arguments, principles, circumstances, and significance in this matter,” board member Andrew MacArthur said during the reading of the board’s decision. “The board holds no prejudice … or any improper motives with regards to Mr. Berriman’s employment.”

It’s OK to be unhappy with the board’s decision, but it’s important for the community to accept the decision and move on.

It seems the board weighed a tough decision carefully, but ultimately decided policy is policy and Berriman violated that policy in the way he handled the student.

Berriman said he holds no hard feelings.

“Do I agree with it?” Berriman told The News. “Of course not, but I respect what the board had to do and we have to remind ourselves that they’re volunteers. No hard feelings there. It’s disappointing and I certainly understand.”

It’s important for the community to hold no hard feelings, either. The board needs the community’s help and support in providing quality education to APS students, and resentment can only hold back those efforts.


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