Robbinsdale School Board Chair Helen Bassett Ready to Tackle ‘Big Questions’
Robbinsdale Area Schools recently had a shakeup in the district’s school board. For the third time in a year, there was a change in the board’s chair of directors.
At its Aug. 21 meeting, the board voted to strip Greta Evans-Becker of her role as chair. Members then elected longtime board member Helen Bassett as the new chair for the remainder of the calendar year.
According to the Sun Post, the dispute was over what some board members felt was Evans-Becker lack of management and other “independent actions.”
Bassett told CCX News in a Newsmakers segment airing this week that she was ready and honored to retake the mantle of chair, as she’s been either vice chair or chair for eight of the last 13 years. Bassett has served on the board for 22 years.
“You don’t spend 22 years being involved with an organization if you’re not willing to step up when your colleagues ask you to,” Bassett said. “By that Friday, I couldn’t believe I was chair again. It’s a lot of responsibility and work.”
She added, “Business of the district needs to move forward, because we have a responsibility to the community.”
One of the issues is whether local cities will allow police officers back into schools as school resource officers. The Plymouth Police Department recently announced it would not, as a new state law makes it more difficult for officers to lawfully restrain students in out-of-control situations. As of this story, Golden Valley city leaders are still deliberating whether to authorize police officers back in district schools. City leaders say it will be up for vote by the Sept. 19 city council meeting.
Robbinsdale schools officials have contracts drawn up and ready for cities to sign once they’re able to decide.
“They–meaning the police departments themselves–are engaged in working with their unions to kind of figure out their way forward,” said Bassett. “So we’re just kind of sitting by and wanting to be a good partner for our parents, for our students and our staff, and making sure we’re adhering to the things that are important.”