We shall now all bow down in homage to the great King Fitial. Anyone who defies his wishes shall be banished from the kingdom. We shall follow his lead, whereever he shall take us. He is our King, and may he declare emergencies, issue proclamations, and assume the rightful command of all lesser agencies, departments, and beings, for lo, he is most powerful.
Governor Fitial, an elected official, asked the Board of Education, elected officials, to postpone the start of classes from September 8, because of the problems the government/CUC is having with providing electrical power.
The BOE, after due consideration and input from teachers and concerned citizens, decided to open schools as scheduled. They had already postponed the start of school by ONE MONTH because of the increased costs in power.
And our Governor, who is not one to respect other elected officials, looked for any way he could to
SHUT DOWN OUR SCHOOLS!
Ah, yes, the reason--excuse given: The Division of Environmental Quality tested the water a while ago and found e coli. That could be a basis for closing schools. Never mind that each of the schools already addressed the problem by cleaning their water tanks. Never mind that some of the schools replaced the bad water FROM CUC (yes, the same operation that can't provide reliable electricity to the schools, businesses, and residences in the CNMI) with CLEAN water from a private vendor. Never mind that the water in the tanks is either reserve water in case of emergency, or used simply for the toilets.
And never mind that DEQ had not yet returned to test the water, a situation over which PSS has no control, so we don't know whether there is any on-going problem.
King, I mean Governor Fitial issued an urgent order on the night before schools opened shutting down 3 schools and 1 head start.
You can read reports at the Marianas Variety or Saipan Tribune. They show our new Commissioner and the BOE scrambling to handle the situation as professionally as possible, with the students' interests in mind.
The Governor's action, in stark contrast to the BOE and PSS, is disgusting. I'm very glad my daughter is not attending MHS (but is rather at SSHS). I'd be tempted to sue.
Tina Sablan has it right when she characterizes the Governor's actions as blatant and outrageous abuses of power. But what worries me more is the comment made in response to the MV article--that PSS better watch out. The Governor might issue an emergency directive and take over it, too!