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Some Lackawanna parents are unhappy about the manner in which an investigation of Lackawanna School Superintendent Monica Kole is proceeding. They're also questioning the school board's decision to hire a lawyer at $225 an hour to investigate the superintendent.

The parents took the issue one step further by writing letters to elected officials taking the school board to task over its motives and effectiveness.

We understand the parents' concern. It's imperative that the board act with more transparency than it has demonstrated so far. It needs to show some evidence that this probe involves matters of policy, not politics.

The parents are conducting a probe of their own. And the board is reacting with a typical defensive posture. Yet these parents are setting a good example for their children. It's nice to see parents care about what happens in their kids' schools. And it should not be forgotten that these are the same people who voted the board members into office.

Regardless of what the investigation of Kole reveals, residents are simply holding the board accountable, and their action should be taken as such. Parents -- and all taxpayers -- have a right to know what's going on in their own school system.

The investigation of Kole, hired less than a year ago, is based on unreleased allegations. However, the investigation reportedly appears to focus on Kole's job history in West Seneca, the appearance of favoritism in the hiring she has done in Lackawanna and her approach to dealing with district employees.

Kole's previous boss at West Seneca, Superintendent Richard Sagar, has been contacted. Ironically, Sagar is himself under fire from his own school board.

Given Lackawanna's reputation for rough politics, the board should not be surprised at the public scrutiny it's now facing. Parents are sending a strong message that what one school board member called a "kangaroo court" will not be tolerated.

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