Opinion

Time for answers

The community deserves a better answer.

The question at hand: Why did the Lake Washington School District suddenly fire former Redmond High cheer coach Ronda Thomas earlier this month?

The district won’t say.

Several parents and residents — all taxpayers, by the way — inquired with the school district about the change. Many were ignored, others were only told, “We can’t discuss personnel matters.”

The cheerleaders found out about the school district’s decision to dismiss Thomas at a football dinner Oct. 9. They were told they were not allowed to do their planned routines at the Homecoming assembly and couldn’t do any tumbling at the Homecoming game. They could only stand on the sidelines to cheer.

But why the sudden change?

Just a couple days before the announcement, the cheerleaders were summoned to the Redmond High office and interrogated about Thomas’ coaching style and whether they thought she was “dangerous.”

There had to be an explainable reason why Thomas was let go, just weeks before Homecoming – one of the biggest events of the year, not just for the cheerleaders, but for the community.

Since the story was first published in the Oct. 29 issue of the Redmond Reporter, several parents and residents have sent comments of support and concern for Thomas, who guided the Mustang cheer squad to their first Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) state title last spring.

She was definitely an intense, demanding coach, but she also built a strong program and helped shape the lives of many teens.

So why did the district axe Thomas? Your guess is as good as ours.

We all pay taxes for the school district. We entrust our children to teacher and coaches for most of the day — five, sometimes every day of the week. There’s no question, these people will all have a giant impact on our children.

The school district has a responsibility to make sure the teachers and coaches it hires, will follow the rules and have a positive influence on our children.

So you have to believe that the district was justified with their decision, right?

So far, we can’t make that judgement because the district has provided no answers.

When sudden decisions are made without justification that only causes a whirlwind of rumors, which can divide a community.

Bust out the megaphone, Lake Washington School District, and tell us why Ronda Thomas was dismissed.

Let’s shut down the rumor mill, once and for all.

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