At the May 8 Board of Education meeting, while discussing funding for dyslexia training and intervention in the budget, board President Brad Young expressed his belief that advocacy should focus on other areas and told those in the public meeting, “The two or three students that committed suicide last year ... they can’t read now, can they?”

It is unbelievable that Mr. Young, as president of the Board of Education, an elected official and appointed leader, would make such an egregious, insensitive and flippant remark in a public forum as a way to drive home his opinion. It shows lack of decorum and ignorance of the issues at hand.

Just moments before, parents gave heart-wrenching speeches about how their middle and high school students have suffered emotionally, and how they were just recently identified as dyslexic and reading at a second- or third-grade level.

People in the room were moved to tears at the students’ stories, and then Mr. Young comments about student suicides and how those children can’t read anymore?

It is beyond inappropriate and showed lack of compassion or understanding of the struggle.

Mr. Young should be called out, censured for the remarks he made and asked to publicly apologize to the citizens who have elected him, his fellow board members who placed him in a position of leadership and to the students depending on him to understand their needs. The tragedy of those students and their families isn’t meant to be fodder for his agenda.

Laralyn Gill


(7) comments


Disdainful comment on his part. He should apologize as suggested in this letter.


It's clear from the author's earlier mentions in the FNP that she's passionate about and focused on her single issue. Perhaps a less-than-tactful reminder from Brad that the BOE balances a myriad of requirements was a bit off-putting. In any event, the author needs to explain why it took ~6 weeks for her offense and outrage to distill into a 6-paragraph LTE.

Business Owner

He needs to apologize. I can't believe other board members didn't call him out for these comments immediately.

Dyslexia Advocates

Liz Barrett did and he said his statement stands. The student member called him out as well, but he apologized to her and her only.

Business Owner

I'm sorry that you were subjected to such insensitivity. Everyone deserves better.


Brad was insensitive, no doubt. Dyslexic is applied to those students incapable of processing words, usually it affects ability to spell also. Hard to say what causedthe suicides, maybe it was the students frustration over reading and spelling. . Still Brad needs to be more considerate. I am really surprised that he wasn't, because he is really good on the School Board.


Brad needs to explain himself.

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