Christopher wants respect, but shows very little


Those who get respect give respect, the saying goes.

Mehlville Board of Education member Cindy Christopher demands respect from fellow board members, administrators and residents — yet based on her actions, she has little or no respect for them.

Never was that more evident than at the April 26 special meeting of the Board of Education as she could not conceal her disdain for interim Superintendent Jerry Chambers. Her eye-rolling and muttering as Dr. Chambers spoke was quite a scene. In fact, board President Tom Diehl at one point gaveled her down and admonished her for interrupting Dr. Chambers.

But that wasn’t the first time Mrs. Christopher has demonstrated an elitist attitude toward those from whom she demands respect.

During a discussion of proposed new middle school boundaries in October 2002, she said, “… This is kind of my neck of the woods and so I know a lot of these people. I think the biggest emotional concern with them — and it’s definitely emotional, believe me, some of these people I know way too well …”

Or consider Mrs. Christopher’s infamous “peanut-gallery” comment in January 2006 after a group of district volunteers patiently waited through a long meeting to discuss a synthetic-turf proposal they favored.

She said, “I sat through this whole meeting. It is unfortunate that a board member thinks — and I am assuming this is what you’re thinking — that you have to bring a pack of people to vote on something. That there’s not enough respect amongst the seven of us to make a good, solid educational decision that we can do that without people who are in a peanut gallery waiting for us to take a vote. I have never in my seven years experienced that — ever. I have never had disrespect amongst other board members at that level. I’ve never had anybody have that happen — I’ve never had it happen. And I have had angry parents in here at other board meetings with other boards about other things, but never like that. That was sabotage, in my opinion …”

Under the leadership of new board members and Dr. Chambers over the past year, the Mehlville School District has made great progress in regaining the public’s confidence. As the longest-serving current board member, Mrs. Christopher’s role in undermining that confidence is shameful.

Until Mrs. Christopher starts showing respect to those around her and setting a proper example for students, she’ll continue to get no respect from us.