Many decades ago, the Roman Catholic hierarchy forgot about the core values and mission of the Roman Catholic Church. That was when the active cover-up of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests began.

That organizational amnesia continues as the church hierarchy now listens to their lawyers instead of their God.

Much the same is happening on a smaller scale here in Winona. Two organizations in dispute with each other have forgotten their missions and their core values. This collective amnesia of organizations is not uncommon – and it is never appropriate.

When the argument between two organizations becomes vindictive rather than substantial, it is time to stop.

When the argument between two organizations becomes more about who wins rather than what is correct, it is time to stop.

When the essential reason for an argument is in the past rather than the future, it is time to stop.

When the reason for the argument is based on the emotions of the participants rather than the situations of the organizations themselves, it is time to stop.

The District 861 School Board and Save Our Schools conflict needs to stop.

This conflict no longer serves the needs of 861 nor of SOS. Both organizations need to stop listening to their lawyers and to remember their missions and core values. Both organizations need to sit down and quietly talk with each other.

It is time for conflict to end and cooperation to begin.

I am a part-time resident of Winona. I don’t know all of the details of this dispute. But I do know the dispute has become one of emotions and not facts. The dispute has become one about who wins and not about what is correct.

If the School Board and SOS persist in this behavior, one may eventually “win,” but in the end, both will look foolish.

I am a professionally trained and qualified mediator in Hawaii, although I am not currently able to practice this method of alternative dispute resolution in Minnesota. However, many are.

It is time to set your lawyers aside and to come and sit at a common table to resolve this issue. Both organizations – like the Catholic Church – are looking pretty foolish right now.

Organizational amnesia does that.

Leslie Hittner, Winona

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(3) comments


I screw up. Thought SOS jumped on WAPS. Loser pays, or should pay all legal costs. As it is, a good amount of referendum is privatesly pocketed. Whose fault is that?


Mr. Hive +1. No deals. Make SOS pay all litigation costs, not just court-costs.


Am agreeing with LH and disagreeing simultaneously. I disagree with SOS their actions are cost us money for nothing more than a dim "whine." That does not expunge the current school board from its habitual (past) tendency to cater to it's own "whine." Both, as LH, implies but does not grasp why, both do not assist improving the lot of education and the losers are us, not just the students. The current board has no history, however. SOS whines must be attended by 861, that is, defended against, even if superfluous whining is their action. This action is dim and costly, and who pays? Who loses? More on this coming. While SOS has the right to complain, each person needs to be tarred and feathered for what they wrought on us all. "Right" is not license! In the long run, one can only hope, when the cards are exposed, the costs of this stupid boondoggle will be borne by these wretched dingers who instigated this mess, knowing full well not all are of the same heart, as those who started this mess!

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