As you may know, the Lakeville School District’s North High School’s athletic director recently plead guilty to his second DUI in the last four years. While he has sought treatment and the school district is behind his attempt at recovery, according to an article in SunThisweek, many parents are up in arms over this DUI and some provided very strong opinions about his drinking and driving.
From the article:
In an email, Gail Rutan said she was “appalled” by the situation and asked for his dismissal.
“His role is so much more than a teacher,” she wrote in the Jan. 4 email. “He is in charge of addressing all of the issues of alcohol and drug issues with students and parents. There is NEVER a reason to get behind the wheel of a car after even one drink. By not taking actions, which the community is aware of, you seem to be condoning his behavior. This is very confusing for the students and community.”
Katherine Grant-Erickson said in an email Ertl should be “made an example of what NOT to do.”
While I certainly do not condone DWI, especially a second offense, I cannot see how people can justify wanting to oust an individual who sought treatment and is actively working on his sobriety simply because he holds a district position. While people are free to share their opinions, it would seem that the comment from Gail Rutan is by far the most ridiculous. Claiming there is “NEVER” any reason for someone who has had one drink to get behind the wheel is asinine. We have laws which permit those who have a reasonable amount to drink to operate a vehicle legally. Drinking alcohol is an acceptable thing to do for adults and to claim otherwise harkens back to the failed experiment of the 1920s and early 1930s. Gail, by all means abstain from driving after drinking one adult beverage but the rest of us are free to do so within known limits.
What do you think about this one? Should an apparent alcoholic who was immediately upfront about the DWI and who entered treatment to try and resolve the problem be treated differently than others simply because he’s an athletic director of a public school? Do you think there is a valid reason to get behind the wheel of a car after one drink? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.