Higher-up Hall Passes 

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Reading about Brad Smith’s past legal entanglements in his former life as Box Elder’s deputy county attorney got me riled up all over again [“The Mysterious Mr. Smith,” April 26, City Weekly].

In fall 2011, the Utah State Board of Education OK’d Smith’s appointment as the new superintendent of Ogden School District even though he did not have an administrative license. Once again, an uppity-up was granted the waiver a frontline classroom teacher would have never received if they were unqualified to teach a specific course. How ironic his misuse of a homonym in his first memo sent to district employees on his very first day: “We are in agreement that one of the principle (sic) causes of the difficulties has been a failure to communicate.”

He should have been required to serve his assignment in a probationary capacity until he completed the administrative coursework required for licensure. That would have taken him several semesters of classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, with occasional Saturday workshops sprinkled in. Had he been able to continue his education through the summer, why, he could have been licensed by now!

That’s how teachers have been renewing their licenses and certifications for decades. How unfair this self-described “fat, white, middle-age Mormon Republican lawyer with all the baggage that entails” gets a hall pass.

Mike Ptaschinski

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