Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When Good People Make Bad Decisions

I never like seeing people I know in the headlines for something negative. Unfortunately, I did again, yesterday.

Don Stinson isn't a good friend of mine, but I do consider him to be an acquaintance, and I think that he has done some good things in Decatur Township since becoming the superintendent of schools here 10 years ago. It was a contentious time when he came in, and he saw the district through that time period. He has done some innovative things such as creating a charter school through a traditional public school district and adopting small learning communities at the high school.

That said, it's fair to say that he's attracted a fair bit of controversy as well. The way the township has spent its money has been in the crosshairs of local blogger Pat Andrews over at the Had Enough Indy blog. The district has had to cut teachers while many administrators took large benefit and retirement packages. I'm not here to discuss that at this time. It's Pat's area.

On Sunday morning, I'm sure that many of you have heard that Stinson was picked up on suspicion of drunk driving. He becomes another high-ranking administrator to be caught making bad decisions while telling the children in his district to make good ones, and he freely acknowledges that.

To his credit, Stinson has been out in front of the story. He hasn't ducked the questions or the media on this. He's taken responsibility for his actions, and there's something to be admired in that.

Stinson may or may not have a drinking problem. He says he needs to find out, and it's unfortunate that he chose to bring such a personal struggle to the public eye by a bad choice. What I do know is that whether you like him or not, Don Stinson is a good man, and he doesn't need me to defend him.

In a time where public education is being scrutinized, these are not really the kind of stories that are needed, but, I think that even Tony Bennett knows that good people make bad decisions. Whatever happens, I wish Don Stinson the best.


Paul K. Ogden said...

If Stinson is going to continue to insist he only had two beers and two glasses of wine, then he's not coming clean. You don't get anywhere close to .12 with those four drinks.

Jon E. Easter said...

My point wasn't to cuss and discuss the details of the story only to wish him the best.

Unfortunately, you and some other bloggers seem to like to pile on. That's fine.

Anonymous said...

You should get more info re: the small learning communities that you mentioned as an accomplishment. At least one is on the brink of collapse.

J.Benson said...

Absolutely, he's also an acquaintance of mine through the special education cooperative. He's done what he could for us over the last few years, and that doesn't just go away with bad choices in his personal life. I sincerely hope we don't lose his voice for the disabled of the townships. AND frankly, his other counterparts are hardly clean cut. While that's no excuse, it should take the starch out of the finger pointers. It should, but I doubt it will.

Dr. Stinson has had gastric bypass which affects blood levels of Alcohol. Just a note.