Pam Lindberg has announced that she will resign her seat on the Robbinsdale School Board, effective Aug. 17, due to ongoing “verbal attacks” from the district community.
Lindberg was first elected in 2015 and was serving a second four-year term that was set to expire in December 2022. She is the board treasurer, a member of the Finance Advisory Council and the Curriculum and Instruction Advisory Committee, and is a Minnesota State High School League representative for Robbinsdale Armstrong High School.
Lindberg publicly announced her resignation at the conclusion of the July 19 school board regular meeting. She read aloud a letter she had prepared, which was addressed to Board Chair David Boone and her fellow board members.
“It’s been a privilege and an honor to serve this district over the past seven years, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in this time,” Lindberg read.
She continued that her primary reason for leaving the board was “the incivility, and at times abuse, of the community toward the board and our hardworking administration and toward the school district in general.”
'The hate is too much'
The issue began in 2019 after she had served her first term on the board, said Lindberg, alleging that comments she received were sometimes anonymous or racist in nature, and often occurred via social media. She mentioned a particular exchange via email in which a community member used a fabricated name and email account.
“I will not continue to accept that hateful and disrespectful behavior with my service to the community. ... The hate is too much. I no longer feel respected nor effective,” Lindberg told the board.
At times, Lindberg fought back tears as she read. At one point, Board Member Helen Bassett put a hand on Lindberg’s shoulder in a show of support.
When Lindberg’s statement was complete, Boone offered a few remarks.
“Director Lindberg, it is with a heavy heart and some reluctance to accept this resignation, but I understand,” Boone said. “I don’t have a lot of words other than we love you.”
Bassett thanked Lindberg for going into detail in her statements so viewers could understand her rationale.
“I think often actions happen and then people interpret how they wish to interpret it,” said Bassett, citing media coverage of stories in which the subject of the article isn’t reached for comment. “I respect the fact that you shared your reasons. It’s a matter of public record.”
Bassett also thanked Lindberg for her service and hard work.
Steps to fill the empty seat
The school board must decide to either appoint a new board member to serve the remainder of Lindberg’s term, or host a special election. While Lindberg acknowledged that the decision to elect or appoint would be made by the remaining board members, she appeared to offer her support for an appointment.
“I would prefer not to have my resignation force a special election and cost the board and district several thousands of dollars in election expenses,” Lindberg said.
Lindberg briefly mentioned the pride she had in selecting two superintendents, providing oversight for district curriculum and instruction, passing the recent referendum and implementing an equity policy that she presented alongside Bassett and former Superintendent Carlton Jenkins at a national conference.
Lindberg said she plans to stay involved as a district volunteer and board member of the Seven Dreams Foundation.
“I hope my nearly seven years of service have made a difference for our students, because the students matter most to me,” she said.