Monday, March 3, 2008 | It was all but certain that most of the throng of teachers, staff and parents who filled the multi-purpose room at Del Mar Hills Academy Feb. 26 would leave in defeat.
If Thomas F. Bishop were going to remain at the helm of the school district he’s led for a decade, that evening’s gathering — what became a sort of protest/wake for a leader many love, followed by the final vote for his resignation — would never have happened.
They knew it, and came in force anyway.
So there was a none-too-subtle feeling of desperation at Del Mar Hills that night, one that seems certain to emanate through the district for some time. No matter what one thinks of Bishop, who has loyal supporters and ardent detractors among both parents and staff, what happened last Tuesday served notice that Del Mar now needs some serious healing.
By 6 p.m., when the board of trustees of the Del Mar Union School District emerged from their closed session meeting, no empty seats remained in the big room. The crowd, mostly dozens of Bishop supporters, bristled with indignant energy. In what I heard of their conversations, outrage, worry and shock simmered. They would soon boil over.
The Del Mar trustees sit at a line of foldout tables on a stage at the front of the room, about three feet above the audience. To sit there that evening, daunted by more than 32 speaker slips, looking out at a room about to erupt, could not have been easy (if their faces were any indication). At least not for the three-person majority whose agenda it was to axe Bishop.