Reminding those in power that taxpayers, citizens and parents have a right to know what is going on in their communities and school systems continues to be a full-time job.

This week we have seen at least two blunders in this regard.

Most concerning is the situation at Medomak Valley High School, which seems poised on the edge of a cliff of controversy. Principal Andrew Cavanaugh has not been seen in the school building for some time, and the School Board has been holding closed-door sessions with an attorney.

The School Board has a right to go behind closed doors to meet with its attorney concerning personnel matters in what is called an executive session. However, it was illegal for the School Board to fail to disclose to the public its votes when it returned from that session, as it did Nov. 16.

When the board came out of executive session, it immediately announced the motion and took a vote before attendees reentered the room. We have been told school administrators do not want the press learning whatever is going on.

We would urge school officials to remind themselves that they work for the people of the RSU 40 school district. In addition, parents have a right to know if a principal has been placed on administrative leave. Parents are entrusting the school each day with that which they value most.

Then comes the matter in St. George, where Linda Bean's attorney has put up roadblocks preventing opponents of Bean's Wyeth Reading Room from having the transcripts of the Planning Board meetings on the project.

Bean hired a court reporter to take down the transcript of the meetings, but will not share the information at this point. There would likely be some debate about whether or not she has a right to do this. Attorney Patrick Mellor, representing neighbors opposed to the project, argues Bean does not own the public record, even if she paid the reporter.

We would contend it would have been much better public relations for Bean to simply approve handing the transcripts over to the opponents. There is nothing there to be afraid of that was not already potentially known from the public meetings anyway, but threatening court action to block this makes it look like there is something to hide.

The appeal now hinges on questions that have arisen about whether all of the letters and documents submitted by opponents to the Planning Board have been maintained in the record and passed on to the Appeals Board.

The key takeaway here is that the town needs to do a better job of maintaining its own public records in important proceedings.

Finally, there is the debate over the future of the Old Yellow School, also known as The Thompson Community Center in Union. Judging by the responses we have received to our story about the upcoming town meeting to decide on this important community issue, it seems like the public has been left in the dark about plans to turn the center into housing for seniors.

The letter posted on the town website was not enough prior notice of such an important project. And the town will vote on it at the Dec. 12 hearing just around the corner.

We urge town and school officials to be accountable, transparent and above board in providing information to the taxpayers about important issues and decisions.

A Wonder to see

If you're going to take your school-age children or grandchildren out to the movies this Thanksgiving weekend, we would recommend "Wonder."

Based on the bestselling 2012 novel by R. J. Palacio, it tells the story of a boy with facial differences caused by a birth defect as he attends school for the first time in the fifth grade. Prior to that, young August Pullman or "Auggie," had been home-schooled by his mother.

He has to face bullying about his appearance and the way he eats and deal with fear from the other kids and even their parents because he is different. The movie provides a great lesson about the horrors of bullying and serves as a great discussion starter for parents and their kids. For just that reason, schools have been sharing the book with their students.

It also boasts an impressive cast including Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. Jacob Tremblay is sure to be nominated for awards for his performance as Auggie.