Chariho School Parents’ Forum

September 14, 2007

The emails in question

Filed under: Sept 11 meeting — Editor @ 10:32 am

During the Sept 11 meeting, a chain of emails was used as evidence of my “inappropriate” requests for information.  The result was that Bill Day, chairman of the board, Andy McQuade, Andy Polouski, Terri Serra, Holly Eaves, Ron Pruehs and Deb Jennings sternly informed me that future inquiries must recieve board approval. 

Here is a link to the email chain in question

Here is the cliff note version – (paraphrased unless “”) J

uly 20
F – Please notify the board when an arrest occurs.  Forward me a list of the police interventions over the last year.

R – I notify the board of major incidents.  The board should make the decision if it wants to be notified.

F – I would like to be notified, put it on the agenda.

R – It is a committee decision, I prefer all members get the same info.

F – Don’t you think parents should know

R – Sure

F – Then send the info

(a few more emails – nothing special)

F – Send me the info

R – “The entire Committee will be notified when I am aware of an arrest of a Chariho student for a school-related offense.” 

F – Is this a refusal… I do not care if it is a student or, in your opinion, school-related.  I would like to be notified when an arrest takes place at Chariho. 

R – “No, Bill, it is not a refusal.” 

F – “Then please notify me when an arrest occurs at Chariho – no qualifiers of student status or incident “

R – I will provide the board with events I am aware of 

Aug 29
F – I would suggest that the Superintendent should be aware of all events.   

Note – there are 17 emails in this chain – and I still have not gotten the info from Ricci that I asked for.  But, now I’m not allowed to ask without board approval.

[UPDATE] The information was provided by the press.

[UPDATE] I asked the Superintendent about this new rule (or at least, new to me). 

Even though Ricci was sitting right next to Bill Day when Day said I must get board approval before asking questions like “how many police interventions occured last year,” Superintendent Barry J. Ricci said, “I have no such understanding (of that rule).”

Odd

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7 Comments »

  1. It sounds like Mr. Ricci is not informed of all arrests made on the campus? In the case of the two adults arrested at Chariho on a weekend, he wasn’t notified.

    Any chance the Richmond PD would keep you notified should any arrests occur on the Chariho campus? My children are sometimes on Chariho property on weekends, and I certainly want to know when illegal incidences happen or when criminal are captured at Chariho.

    Mr. Ricci seems dismissive of some arrests, as if there can be arrests that are no big deal. I disagree and hope the School Committee takes action to keep citizens informed each and every time the school we pay for requires police response. I don’t see anything unreasonable about this and resistance to the common sense request makes me suspicious of what is being hidden from parents and the public?

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 14, 2007 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

  2. I’m disgusted to see Mr. Pruehs name on the list of politicians trying to keep citizens in the dark about activities at Chariho. Since the Hopkinton Town Council is responsible for his appointment, then either they didn’t do their homework and chose a person who doesn’t understand he lives in the USA or they are in bed with Cbariho.

    Funny how the Hopkinton Town Council often complains that the school budget is the biggest reason for the obscene tax increases of recent years, yet when the town council has an opportunity to pick a member who will join Mr. Felkner is questioning the management practices of Chariho, they instead choose a person who supports the status quo.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 15, 2007 @ 8:07 am | Reply

  3. Does yet another School Committee member finds a windfall at Chariho?

    Does anyone know if the instructors of the Middle School Enrichment Programs are compensated for their services? The cost to students is $30/class, and I’m wondering who gets the money? Is it Chariho? Is it the instructors?

    Ms. Serra is teaching a class in “Hip Hop Dance” (I kid you not) and perhaps this “enrichment” class is her reward for protecting the administration from burdensome questions? I wonder if Chariho will let me enrich the kids lives with a class titled, “How to wear your pants around your knees and not trip while you walk”?

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 15, 2007 @ 8:20 am | Reply

  4. Mr. Buck and I voted for Mr. Scott. When that did not pass, Mr. Preuh was voted in. He is new to the board and I’m sure will need several, if not many meetings to understand the agenda and it’s rules and procedures to participate comfortably and well. I respect your conversation and discussion CR but please give him a chance.

    Mr. Petit and Mr. Felkner are quite up and running and with Mr. Abbott and Mr. Preuh, I think the town is well represented — even if and especially because, everyone doesn’t always agree.

    Comment by BarbaraC — September 17, 2007 @ 3:09 pm | Reply

  5. Did those supporting Mr. Pruehs’ appointment give reasons for supporting him, e.g., he was looking to reduce education costs? I’d be very curious to know the basis given by those supporting Mr. Pruehs?

    We know that Ms. Kenney supports any amount of education spending (after all, it goes into the pockets of her cronies), so if Mr. Pruehs was her candidate, that’s reason enough for suspicion.

    I do see your point about waiting. Mr. Petit got off to a rocky start, but seems to be coming around…especially his support for the management study.

    I don’t know how I can excuse Mr. Pruehs for joining the effort to control Mr. Felkner’s inquiries and requests for information. Keep in mind, Mr. Felkner is the school committee member most inclined to share info with us, the public.

    I take Mr. Pruehs vote as a vote against keeping the public informed and it is hard to ignore this huge blunder and “give him a chance”.

    I guess time will tell if Mr. Pruehs is yet another administration puppet, but he’s not off to a good start. If you know the man, tell him to join us here. I don’t have to agree with everyone’s opinions and positions, but I think all politicians/public servants should be willing to share, defend, and promote their opinions and positions. Those who hide, usually have something to hide.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 18, 2007 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

  6. Mr. Pruehs isn’t really the issue. While he made a couple of comments, for the most part he just went along with the flow. It took real courage for Mr. Petit and Mr. Cicchetti to speak up in my support. When arrows are flying, most people run.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — September 18, 2007 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

  7. Thanks Mr. Felkner for the clarification. You had included Mr. Pruehs’ name among those who “sternly informed” you that inquiries are to go through the board. I guess you’re saying he joined the others with his vote, but wasn’t really among the zealots attacking you?

    I would say that when arrows are flowing in both directions, we do get to decide which side of battle to be on…so I remain disappointed he chose the wrong side.

    Think about it…whether committee members agree with you or disagree, how can anyone be against requests for information? If your requests were frivolously time-consuming, that would be one thing, but from what I can tell, those opposing your inquiries seem to attack you for wanting to know, rather than explaining why it’s unimportant to know.

    For instance, who could argue that the school committee should know with detail about arrests made at Chariho? I doubt even the fools on the committee would be as brazen as to publically tell us that arrest information is not relevant to the public. Same with the number of employees on the payroll. So instead of trying to defend a position of secrecy, they seek to control what information you can access.

    This is why I am so certain that the personal interests of many on the committee override their duty to protect the public interest. They want to keep us in the dark out of fear that if we know the truth we might actually hold Chariho accountable. Why else would they so frequently object to the oversight you try to provide the public?

    If the majority of the committee actually functioned in the public good, Mr. Ricci wouldn’t just have you asking questions. Each and every member of the committee would be doing their homework and asking tough questions of the administration.

    Perhaps if the school was delivering results, and wasn’t costing us an arm and a leg, we could understand reluctance to burden the administration, but this is not the reality, and the administration should at least be open and honest about how they operate.

    I hope like heck that Mr. Pruehs joins the Hopkinton contingent, especially you, in demanding accountability. I also hope he is favorable to open government. Time will tell.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 18, 2007 @ 5:36 pm | Reply


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