Aug. 16, 2023, Letters to the Editor

Try to get along for the students


Dear President Jansen and Members of the School Board:

Some action needs to be taken to try to bring you all together to responsibly govern our school district before things deteriorate further and start to directly harm the educations we’re providing here.

Each faction no doubt feels the other is at fault and wants to act accordingly, but that’s not going to get you anywhere. The prospects of a successful recall are slim, as is moving forward any sort of meaningful reform agenda in this atmosphere. Taking a win/lose approach simply guarantees failure through more tit for tat. You’re like a married couple that each has reason to be angry with their spouse and is determined to pursue that anger, forgetting about the children who are in your care and who are watching their family implode.

My suggestion is that you hire a mutually acceptable professional mediator or facilitator and hold one or more retreats focused not so much on the issues that divide you as what you surely have in common as school board trustees, as a basis for moving forward with positive governance of the school district. If you do that then maybe you can move on to how to constructively resolve the issues that divide you.

My further suggestion would be that while you do that you table discussion of abnormally divisive issues to see if you might create an atmosphere of mutual respect that would allow you to return to them in the near future.

Finally, like that couple, you can always go back to fighting but don’t you owe it to your children, and the staff that educates them, to try and improve communication and the family dynamics first? I don’t believe any of you have the destruction of a fine school district in mind, but that’s where we’re headed unless you sit down, ideally with effective help, and work this out.

Terry Burnes


Trustees doing what the said


I have read many letters published here recently criticizing the new school board for being politically motivated. I almost had to laugh. Anyone who believes that education is not political is living in a fantasy world. It is very political, and school board elections are about the politics of education.

As a retired teacher with 20 years experience working in California schools, I witnessed the Marxist practices known as CRT, DEI, and SEL become integrated into our professional development. I’ve heard some citizens here refer to these practices as “empathetic” and “enlightened.” They might seem so if you don’t understand their origin and purpose. They are clearly Marxist in origin (many books have been written on the subject), and the aim of Marxists is not empathy or enlightenment. Their aim is to sow conflict and chaos in order to enable the state (the school in this case) to gain more power and control over what your child learns and thinks.

CRT, DEI, and SEL become tools of the state to indoctrinate students and to take power away from parents. Don’t want your child to be told that America is a racist country? Don’t want your child to learn that they might have been born in the wrong body? Don’t want your child to be shamed into acknowledging their so-called white privilege? Don’t want your child’s psychological profile becoming part of the school record? Sorry, you don’t get to decide those things. Your children aren’t only yours, after all. Remember Hillary’s “It takes a village” or Biden’s “They are all our children?” They’re serious. They think your children belong to them. 

During the last election, the citizens of Douglas County voted in three new board members who understood well how Marxism is taking over the education of our children through the praxis of CRT, DEI, and SEL. That’s why we voted them in: to protect Douglas County children from the propaganda, brainwashing, and indoctrination that are inherent in these practices. The election of new board members was not intended to disparage the fine teachers in Douglas County, but rather to make sure these teachers are not brainwashed themselves into teaching concepts that spread the seeds of division, shame, confusion, racism and anti-Americanism.  

I trust that the new board members who were democratically elected are doing the job they were elected to do: making sure that the students in Douglas County schools are learning academics, and not being taught to dislike their own country, their own skin color, or their biological sex. I also suspect that a lot of the complainers at board meetings are those who did not want a change in the board, and who are likely politically motivated. 

Sherrill DeLuca


Commanding the room


Watching the special Douglas County School Board meeting in July was like watching a circus. During the meeting long-time (over 50 years) Carson Valley resident, and our son-in-law, Patrick Peters, sat at the table before the board for public comment. As he started to speak he noticed board members not paying attention, so using an effective engagement strategy used by teachers called “wait time,” he waited for the board’s full attention. 

While waiting, Jan Muzzy was rudely making comments as she sat in the row right behind him. He turned around from the chair and said, “Excuse me ma’am, I’m going to command the room.” He then turned back around and addressed the board.

Apparently Jan Muzzy felt “intimidated” at the July meeting by someone politely putting her rude and disrespectful behavior in check when she then told the school board at the August meeting the “intimidating man” was back in the crowd (seated far away from her and never directly speaking to her.)

What Jan Muzzy doesn’t know about the “intimidating man” is:

He is the youngest of seven, who has lived in this community for over 50 years and been an educator for 30 years, he was a student-athlete and a 1983 graduate from Douglas High School.

He has raised two daughters in the Carson Valley who are both Douglas High School graduates and have careers in education and pediatric ER nursing.

• He has dedicated his successful career to supporting students in a community far tougher and much more conservative community than the Carson Valley.

• He stood in the hospital room with a parent, using a car engine as an analogy for the son’s brain, helping the parent understand the student wasn’t going to recover.

• During the COVID shutdown he drove out of his way and took donuts to one of his students every Friday and just last week, met the former student and took him to lunch.

• He is the only high school administrator in the state of Nevada to have a Title I National Distinguished school based on student achievement.

Jan Muzzy can sit in a room full of community members and claim she feels “intimidated” by this man who was quietly and calmly sitting in a chair during the meeting, although she has never spoken to him and doesn’t know anything about who he is or his character and reputation in this Valley.

Perhaps instead of trying to be one of the puppet masters for the newly elected DCSD School Board members controlling their moves based on her own support of a national political agenda, Muzzy’s time could be better spent helping President Jansen learn how to “command the room” and be consistent during public comment with all speakers, which is her responsibility as the DCSD School Board President. This way those who are speaking during public comment wouldn’t need to remind those sitting behind them in the audience to be courteous and respectful.

John and Wilma Compston


What is going on?


What is our world coming to? We live in a beautiful happy little valley that no one wants to change, yet…

Over the recent years, our elected leaders have been in physical altercations, multiple instances of arrogance and disrespect for their constituents, I mean: How many years has it been that a hat has been worn by a board member in an open meeting? Now we have elected leaders calling the people they represent a POS without apology, and the embarrassing list goes on and on.

The problem is: “We the People” continue to accept this without holding anyone accountable. Sure, we grumble to each other and shake our heads, but ultimately, we stand by and do nothing. Vote, write, speak up, run for office? Who has time, right?

This is a double-edged sword … If you do not put yourself out there, the loud minority continues to run the show, you leave the bullies in charge. Honestly, I don’t know how to right the ship, but it is obvious that the ship is leaking and veering of course. Why would anyone want to subject themselves to the criticism, the lack of decorum, the rude nature of the loud minority that relies on bullying, scare tactics, and blowing any piece of information (or misinformation) out of proportion to support their scheme. It’s hard to know what is reality, who is honestly trying to do “good,” and who is serving their own agenda.

I have learned that I am not a politician… I want to make things better, but I do not think that my gifts serve best in policy making, I am better at supporting our youth through coaching & mentoring. That said, I would love to support more candidates who would like to serve with common sense, integrity, and the ‘agenda’ of improving our situation by making informed decisions on each issue as they come. We need leadership, not people who vote the way their handlers and influencers suggest.

We are a community, a fantastic community with a great heritage and a potentially bright future if we work together. I do not think I am the only one who feels this way, the question is: Who will step up? I believe that we, the disgruntled majority, are looking for a few good people that we can rally behind. It’s time to put an end to the grumbling and embarrassment, who will answer the bell?

Nathan Tolbert


Go Tigers!


At the end of this month, students will return from summer vacation and begin a new school year. The Douglas High School Football Team has already begun practicing in preparation for what is to be a pivotal season. Football is the first sport out of the gate when the new school year begins. A successful football program enhances school spirit, sets the mark for fundraising throughout the year, and provides students with a sense of pride. So important is the Football Program to the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) that smart and savvy Assistant Athletic Director Doug Stewart says, “Football is the front porch of our UNR house.”

Douglas High School hasn’t had a winning football season since 2016. This has left many of the alumni, residents, and former players perplexed, since sports like basketball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball are eminently successful year after year. Many of these teams compete yearly for Northern Nevada championships. One of the major reasons for the lack of success is that many of the school’s better athletes choose not to play football. With only 2 wins in the last two seasons, one can understand why this is happening. Student-athletes do not want to be a part of a losing team. In addition, DHS does not have a Football Booster Club. A Football Booster Club is very important, as it raises money, disseminates publicity throughout the community, and creates events that raise awareness. DHS lacks the level of commitment and the intense work that is required from the administration and the Athletic Director to raise the Football Program to the next level. Attendance at the weekly games and the year-end Banquet is a must. The administration must work constantly on campus to promote School Spirit, look throughout the school for the best student-athletes, and assist in recruiting them to be members of the Football Team.

Like so many others in our community, I want our stuudent-athletes to have every opportunity to be successful. It’s time for alumni, residents, former players, and the business community to step-up and assist in establishing a successful Football Program at DHS. This is a make or break year for the Football Staff at DHS. 2 wins in 2 years is unacceptable. We ‘Love’ our community and we want our student-athletes to be placed in a position where they can succeed. Let’s form a Football Booster Club, raise some money, ask some of our local businesses to close early on a Friday Night Game Night, and throw a Tail Gate Party in the Parking Lot at DHS the likes of which the 2 towns have never seen. What could be better? I look forward to seeing you at the Party.!

Joe Hooven



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