GLADSTONE - Gladstone School Board Trustee Steve O'Driscoll made a public apology at a special meeting of the board Wednesday. O'Driscoll read a statement at the meeting apologizing to members of the teaching staff for comments he posted recently on the Daily Press website.
His statement read:
"I want to take this opportunity right upfront in this meeting to apologize to several members of the teaching staff for comments that I made in a forum on the Daily Press website last Thursday. In an effort to clarify ambiguous information in the article about the layoff vote two Mondays ago, I specified the nature of the proposed layoffs and the individuals involved. These names had been openly discussed at the curriculum and personnel meeting and were public record, but that was no reason to use them. In my desire to be specific I made a terrible error in judgement that has brought further strife to individuals and families that are already dealing with stress of a potential layoff. For this thoughtless act, I publicly apologize.
As a result of my actions I have been falsely accused of board ethic policy violations by the G.E.A. I have been accused of making this statement in an effort to garner anti-union support for an upcoming election for the county board, in which I am a candidate. This is simply untrue. I have also been accused of compromising the board through release of confidential information. Once again, this information was not confidential.
Despite my knowledge that I did not violate policy, I still feel that I have done something morally wrong in this act by humiliating another person or persons. Factual information that carries an identity has an emotional attachment and I am truly sorry for the emotional impact I have cause in the last week [and] for my careless act. As a person who believes in accepting my mistakes and learning from them, I will strive to do so in this area. Thank you."