Monday, October 14, 2013

Seattle School Board Campaigns - What Does a "Positive" Campaign Look Like?

Ballots are to drop on Wednesday the 16th and I have two questions:

1) Is politics like love and war - all is fair in order to win?  As we are discovering about privacy, everyone has a different tolerance for what they believe is right/allowable. 

2) Is a candidate defined by their supporters?  Because this seems to be a sore point with the Peters/Dale Estey campaigns.
  • Is it envy on the part of Peters because Dale Estey is so well-funded and has paid campaign strategists and a paid treasurer and and manager?  Dale Estey's campaign will surely go down as the highest collecting/spending School Board campaign in the history of Seattle.  Fifty people (out of her touted 500+ contributors) gave more than 50% of the money her campaign has  (the majority of them being lawyers, CEOs, managing partners or someone married to them with a couple of billionaires thrown in there for good measure).  I could see someone being envious of that kind of firepower.
  • Or is it troubling that Dale Estey has so many well-funded connections (especially to business and to ed reformers) that two of them set up their own PAC just to get her elected?  That PAC appears to want to take the negative road just as Dale Estey repeatedly says she's running a positive campaign. 
For example, to help Dale Estey during the primary, her supporters' PAC, Great Seattle Schools, sent out two flyers that appeared to be an apples-to-apples comparison between the candidates but weren't.  (They left out factual details about Peters in order to make Dale Estey look better.)

At the time, I asked Dale Estey about that flyer and said she legally cannot have any communications with that PAC and can't tell them what to do.  That's true.  But there would be nothing illegal in her publicly stating that she wants her supporters to echo her positive campaignBut she didn't. She could have but she didn't.

In fact, she told the Times on August 1st that she ""agrees with the ad's main message, although she has mixed feelings about its negative approach."  Mixed feelings, huh?
Now we learn that yet another supporter - Jean Bryant, an active parent in the NE - has stepped in to do her own negative campaigning on Dale Estey's behalf.

You might remember Ms. Bryant, a former PTA president, as the person leading a group that was campaigning against BEX IV.  That's okay except that their complaint was just about Eckstein and no other school according to reporting at Crosscut on Feb. 6th.  That seemed a bit myopic.

Bryant also told the Times in a July 22nd story about School Board elections that "Last time I wasn't a voice as much as I should have been ...and it's so critical."  Which leads us to today.

Byrant is an endorser for Dale Estey, named as an education leader at the DE website, and was introduced by Dale Estey at a meeting as a member of "my steering committee."  Bryant has co-hosted a fundraising event for Dale Estey. So she is not just some random supporter (although I do believe she is acting on her own accord.)

Bryant decided to take her e-mail list and send out an e-mail about her support for Dale Estey and her disdain for Sue Peters.  

She starts the e-mail by supporting Dale Estey but then gets personal (because Bryant has been at the same school with her children as Peters has been with hers for the last seven years.)

Bryant goes on to state all the things Sue hasn't done for the school (and how Byrant can know all this for certain is unclear - she was the president of the PTA but that doesn't mean she is clairvoyant.)

Bryant then states - not claims - that there are e-mails between Peters and the principal, some teachers, the PTA and the district.  She calls them "highly combative."

Now. Jean may know about PTA e-mails.

But there is NO way for anyone to know about district e-mails Sue may have written to any staff UNLESS someone told her about them. 

That would be a gross violation of confidence for ANY SPS staff person to have told a third-party about e-mails between a parent and another staff person.  

So how did Bryant know of the existence of any e-mails?  That's unclear but she must have known because of what she did.

She filed a public disclosure to the district for e-mails between Peters and the principal and Peters and her children's teachers.

Yes, you read that right.  Peters's emails about her children's education that she wrote to her children's teachers and principals were the ones Bryant filed a public documents request to read.
It is absolutely legal to use public disclosure; I do all the time.  But I have NEVER - in 15+ years - ever asked for an e-mail so I could see what a parent was talking to a staff member about pertaining to a child.  Never.

How would you feel if you were running for a public office and someone working on a campaign for your opponent was looking for something to hit your campaign with  and decided that looking at e-mails you sent, talking about your children and their education, would fit the bill?

I'll just go out on a limb here and say I would not like it - one - little - bit.  In fact, I would consider it an invasion of my children's privacy.

What's interesting is that Bryant ended up sending out an apology. She apologizes for making people "uncomfortable."

You mean people felt uncomfortable because you were bragging to people about knowing about e-mails that you have requested so you could try to find something, anything to smear Sue Peters (and to heck with her children)?  That kind of uncomfortable?

She then goes on to say her words are "accurate" and that her "passion" for the district can "sometimes lead me astray from the real focus, the kids."  (And I'm guessing she means any kids but Sue Peters'.) She states that anyone who requested to be removed from this "email circulation" will have their wish honored.  (Obviously people were appalled by these tactics. At least three of them contacted me.)

I wrote to Dale Estey when I learned about this action.  (I already knew Bryant had made a public disclosure request to the district for Sue's e-mails but I had hoped nothing would come of it.  So I did nothing.)  When I saw Bryant's e-mails, I wrote to Dale Estey and told her about this issue.  That was Monday the 7th.

Dead silence.

Beyond what you might think of Bryant, why is it that Dale Estey's supporters are going as far as they can to win?  

When the ballots drop this Wednesday, I have NO doubt what will come out from Dale Estey's supporters' PAC.  More negative and unpleasant talk rather than talking about the issues.  Maybe they'll use information they gleaned from Jean Bryant's e-mail request. 

Meanwhile I see that Dale Estey is urging people to send her money and to tell their friends about her campaign.  "Remember to keep it positive" she says.

Given what has happened (and what is likely to come) those are hollow and disingenuous words.

Dale Estey is NOT running her own campaign. She has a team of handlers deciding her campaign moves.  She has supporters who, apparently, will denigrate Sue Peter's background and will even go after Sue's children.

And Dale Estey just smiles.

That's not a positive campaign and that's not integrity.

So I have one last question - who will Dale Estey be listening to if she wins?


Anonymous said...

I must say that I honestly think everyone has gone crazy. It is all so so sad. Now if only all could reads all of the ridiculous stuff that gets posted on the SNAPP FB page. Everyone one has gone crazy. Many of you make me sad and I am sad for you children and your community. Chill people. There is a lot more to raising children than education.

-I am Out!

Eric B said...

Going after emails about a candidate's children is just dirty pool. I know lots of people that have sent combative emails to the District about their kids because the District wasn't doing their job. Heck, I'd practically consider sending angry emails a prerequisite for being a Board candidate.

Anonymous said...

Ah, this is starting to make more sense! I'm not excusing anyone here, but I would think that unless Ms. Peters and Ms. Bryant weren't even on speaking terms, surely talk amongst parents at PTA meetings or in the halls, Bryant might have heard Peters say something about having emailed a teacher about something or other. I know there was a big kurfluffle about the current APP north principal in the last couple of years. Peters wouldn't likely have been the only one to take to email about it.

Either way, getting personal seems like the wrong way to go for anyone-stick to the facts, people!

Go Hawks!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how emails to a staff member about students would come under the public information law. Shouldn't the emails about students be protected under FERPA? That was the case at UW, though there was some controversy about whether students who were working (as TAs or RAs came under the same protection, or if only their student related communications were private).

I agree w/ the first poster, though, on things being askew. I hope folks are going to be able to take a deep breath and step back before we become like nutty new yorkers.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how emails to a staff member about students would come under the public information law. Shouldn't the emails about students be protected under FERPA? That was the case at UW, though there was some controversy about whether students who were working (as TAs or RAs came under the same protection, or if only their student related communications were private).

I agree w/ the first poster, though, on things being askew. I hope folks are going to be able to take a deep breath and step back before we become like nutty new yorkers.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Well and that's FERPA for you. It protects the record, not the child and there's fine distinction there.

Understand that the child's name has to be redacted (although the district has not always done the best job there - see this year's Special Ed blumder for one student where the name was not redacted for a committee meeting document AND appeared - briefly - online in a document).

You are known by the company you keep - I'm not sure I know what to think about the people that Dale Estey surrounds herself with and that are "helping" her campaign.

mirmac1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Westbrook said...

Also to note, Dale Estey said this:

"It it time to get past the personal politics our Board too often focuses on and achieve real results for our kids."

She might practice what she preaches if she doesn't like "personal politics."

mirmac1 said...

There was nothing of the public interest here, so privacy considerations in the PRA should have applied.

Furthermore, FERPA should protect a parent's emails to any staff concerning their student - these conversations are part of the student's educational record, and no one without a legitimate educational interest should have access to them.

FERPA also protects student personally-identifiable information INCLUDING their parent's name. I expect that information would be redacted.

Too bad parents cannot sue for violation of FERPA because I would.

parent said...

When Sue Peters brought this up on the SNAPP Facebook page, Jean Bryant responded: "scrutiny is the reality in running for public office."

Scrutiny of communication regarding your kids? In a school board race? Really?

Disgusted said...

Byant crossed the line by delving into a child's privacy. Absolutely shameful and disgusting.

Jayne said...

Mrs. Bryant calls Sue Peters' emails "highly combative?" Seems that Mrs. Bryant needs to look in a mirror.

Thank you for daylighting this Melissa.

Anonymous said...

I don't really understand what Ms. Bryant gets out of this from Ms. Estey's campaign? It sounds like this is more of a personal beef between Ms. Bryant and Ms. Peters? If Ms. Dale- Estey's campaign is smart and doesn't want to get caught in between, it should step back from this mess publicly. I get the PAC and what it wants. Whatever it is, between this and FB, it's turning into an embarrassment for APP and a PR negative for both candidates.


ConcernedSPSParent said...

Can someone point me in the direction of Dale Estey's public statement shaming the morally bankrupt Bryant?

Melissa Westbrook said...

As I said, Concerned, I asked Dale Estey about this one week ago and nothing.

We can wait and see but I'm not asking again for a comment. I suspect she would say - just as she did for the PAC - that she cannot control anyone.

But she CAN set the tone and apparently, her "positive" tone isn't the one that those who support her believe can get her elected. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

I suppose I should preface every email about my children with "HIPAA protected information. Disclosure of any content beyond listed recipients is unauthorized violation of federal law carrying minimum penalty of $10,000 per violation."

FYI off the AMA website: "Finally, offenses committed with the intent to sell, transfer, or use individually identifiable health information for commercial advantage, personal gain or malicious harm permit fines of $250,000, and imprisonment for up to ten years."

I assume -- I hope -- none of the emails were actually released, were they?

Signed: wtf

mirmac1 said...

Gee, wonder what the Seattle Times has to say about this? Oh yeah, they're in bed with the Dale-Estey campaign/supporters....

Anonymous said...

I guess that there's no private ability to sue for HIPAA violations, so even if emails about my kid have info about health/developmental challenges, etc, and are released, there isn't anything I could really do about it.

But that fine was a pretty pretty thought there for about 10 minutes.

Signed WTF.

Melissa Westbrook said...

WRF, to the best of my knowledge Bryant got the e-mails she requested.

Anonymous said...

I hope NE APP doesn't end up at JAMS! We don't need the drama. We have enough obstacles to deal with for the successful launch of JAMS.

- JR Mom

Anonymous said...

Bryant's antics are destroying the image of North End APP and her bullying and intimidation tactics like this, plus her selfish, myopic rallying of people to vote against the last levy did nothing but confirm the selfish, elitist attitude anti-APP forces constantly rail against. She has broken with a long tradition of APP being extra considerate of the district as a whole and not stepping on others toes while advocating for it's interests. Her reckless behavior confirms every negative stereotype about APP, even though she's only been part of it for a short time.

North-End APP folks (&SNAPP): Do yourselves a huge favor and get this person off your PTA ASAP. I know for a fact that administrators and school board members did not appreciate N End APP partaking in Bryant's "blackmail advocacy" during the levy campaign. Such selfish, short-sightedness puts the entire district at risk while Bryant soils APP's nest. Damage to APP's image has already occurred. Bullying, intimidation and deliberate undermining of a fellow APP parent is disgusting, gutter-level behavior, beneath the culture of APP and soiling its reputation. It needs to stop NOW!


chunga said...

When Dale-Estey came campaigning to my door, she had very negative things to say about current board members Kay and Betty, indicating they verbally attacked her in front of her children, and warning me to be careful what I wished for in supporting Sue Peters. She also chastised Sue for having previously supported another party (she supported Nadar in 08) without disclosing that she had supported Republican candidates 6 times, including Mike McGavick who supported teaching intelligent design. Prior to this, I thought SDE seemed like a pretty good candidate and was sorry she wasn't running in another district so I might vote for her.

The continued antics of SDE and her campaign have made me lose all confidence in her judgment and ability to represent students, teachers, and communities.

Crownhill said...

Hmm... well I think a lot of things happen in campaigns that perhaps aren't the intention of the Candidate, but perpetrated by (seemingly) well-meaning supporters. Where the rubber meets the road for me lies in the way that a candidate responds to the negative actions of their supporters. If you don't call someone on unacceptable behavior then you are, at least in my mind, condoning it.
This wouldn't be the first campaign to resort to despicable actions (really? emails about her KIDS??) but its very definitely a telling incident to me. Hmm...

Anonymous said...

Let’s please all remember that yes, there’s a lot at stake with this school board election, and that yes, there are passionate supporters for both candidates.

If you have had direct communication with Jean Bryant regarding the activities listed here (or any other thing that’s been said about her), then you are absolutely entitled to share those interactions and your perspective.

If, though, you have “heard” this or that, or read it here without the benefit of a 360-view of the situation, please don’t jump to conclusions.

Find out for yourself.

Records requests are common – even within SPS – but my understanding is that sensitive information regarding parent/child/teacher interactions are protected under FERPA. Has anyone seen the records that were provided to Jean Bryant? Why are we castigating her when many others – bloggers, journalists, parents, school board members – have also filed public records requests?

I know that this is a hot subject. But I’m worried that we’re entering in to a “defamation of character” arena that I’m very uncomfortable with. Having been a reader of this blog for many years, I have appreciated the open discussion on many topics. But I can’t recall another time when a specific parent has been called out by name in such a negative fashion.

- A little civility

Jon said...

What a train wreck.

Melissa Westbrook said...

First, I wouldn't look at those records even if offered. I consider that kind of "fishing" an invasion of privacy.

Who are you supposing is "defaming" whom?

I called out Bryant - by name - after a long soul-searching (and an early draft without it). But she signed on to Estey's campaign - in a big way - and she sought the e-mails and she broadcast - in a campaign e-mail - that she had them.

It's not defamation.

Mary Griffin said...

I am confused about one thing, how do you know that Jean Bryant "filed a public disclosure to the district for e-mails between Peters and the principal and Peters and her children's teachers."

Did she say that to you or is it in her email?


Melissa Westbrook said...

I learned about it through a third-party.

I think her references to the e-mails implies someone either told her about them (in detail if she calls them "highly combative") or she saw them via a staff member or she made a public disclosure request.

I don't know HOW she knew of their existence but I know she made a public disclosure request at least a month ago.

I have not spoken with Jean at all. (She and I both served on the AL Taskforce. I found her to be thoughtful and nice. After the news of her opposition to BEX IV - based solely on Eckstein, I went "Hmmm." After this news came to me - and I heard from several people that this was burning up the SNAPP list serve - I was very troubled.)

Anonymous said...

I'm no Estey fan, but it seems like you should do more fact checking than "hearing it from a third party" before posting Jean Bryant's name here. Why wouldn't you at least try to contact her? FWIW, I heard that the part about requesting emails about a candidate's children isn't true. Seems like this blog is just adding to the rumor mill, and that is just distasteful. Until you have some facts (not Facebook page comments), I think you should refrain from calling people out. This is a personal battle between these two candidates, and doesn't reflect well on either. Or on you. Really wishing there was another candidate. I'm not impressed with either.

-Signing off

Anonymous said...

On the SNAPP FB page, Sue Peters said that Jean made the request for the emails. Jean did not deny it but justified the request because Sue is running for the board. Whether she found any info (damning or "useful")...who know but the request alone crosses the line.

Anonymous said...

Sorry...forgot to sign the above.

Anonymous said...


It seems to me that you only have half the story here. Ms. Bryant did step over the line in requesting communications with teachers, but Sue Peters is NOT the innocent victim. Sue and her supporters have been doing their own goading and instigating. It's a nasty campaign...but which one is dragging the other one down into the dirt, I can't say. From my vantage point, they are both throwing punches.


cut and paste said...

I personally saw the FB post by Sue, pointing out that Jeanne had requested the emails with a public records request. I also saw Jeanne's response which was 'scrutiny is to be expected when you run for public office.' She had a huge opening there to deny it, and didn't. so having seen firsthand the exchange between Sue and Jeanne, I would say that this is not some kind of conjecture. I guess I am a third party, too, but I'm not up for cut and pasting that whole FB exchange, it is an embarrassment. Though it did turn me from undecided to a full on Sue supporter.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I do know for a fact that the request was made. I'm happy to go ask myself but my source is quite good. That is no rumor. I would not have printed it if it were.

This is a personal battle between these two candidates,

This is NOT supposed to be personal - it's a campaign about issues. Dale Estey - as I quoted her in the thread - said herself she didn't like "personal politics."

Disappointed, you said:

"Sue and her supporters have been doing their own goading and instigating."

Let me know what that's about and I'll investigate. I haven't had any word on this and I will follow up if I do.

By saying "Sue is not the victim", what do you mean?

Anonymous said...

Bryant's public stance in Crosscut against the last levy because the district wouldn't give some APP parents a middle school at Jane Adams right away was too much for me. Proudly rallying people to vote against a BEX levy, including using the PTA e-mail list to do so, given the needs of the entire district was irresponsible, and reckless. Fortunately, people didn't bite and a desperately needed levy was passed.

This latest flap demonstrates nothing more than petty personal animosity against a rival APP parent, taken public to trash Peters. The cake-taker of all is the utterly disingenuous, condescending "sorry if I made you uncomfortable" non-apology. Translation: "I didn't do anything wrong, and I'm not changing. But, if you have a problem with that, I'm happy to freeze you out of the e-mail loop."

And people think Hazing is a Garfield problem. Gee, where do the kids get their ideas?


Anonymous said...

Weird. Maybe it's just me, but at times, this looks like a race between Bryant and Peters. Not Estey vs. Peters.

Maybe it's good campaign strategy to make your endorser a negative distraction for your opponent. On the other hand, it can also mean Estey has no control over Bryant. For me, this is middle schoolers problem, FB and all. It's embarrassing on so many fronts, not the least involving all females of similar backgrounds. SLOG would love this.

Good grief, it's not like this district doesn't have enough problems to deal with! Can't we focus on those real problems?


Anonymous said...

Right! Is this what a Peters candidacy looks like? A bickering APP parent arguing over the finer points of gifted ed? Endlessly, with copious spare time? No thanks.


Anonymous said...

This is rich, coming from this blog. I hope you are seeing the hypocrisy. Perhaps Sue Peters might see fit to publicly distance herself from your negative tactics on her behalf?
- Pot / Kettle

mirmac1 said...

Mary, it is on the PRR log.

mirmac1 said...

Signing off, you admonish Melissa for relying on "third parties" then you say "I heard that the part about requesting emails about a candidate's children isn't true." Do you know how funny that sounds?

If your reliable source is Jean Bryant, ask her if she got wind of (her words) "highly combative" emails from her friend the APP @ Lincoln principal, Rina G. I don't know the latter except from what I read in the Times about Greg King and her tenure at Lowell. Perhaps their sources were unreliable...

mirmac1 said...

Actually Voter, I rarely, if ever, see Peters posting on the multitudinous threads on gifted ed. I DO know her advocacy has covered a wide breadth of public education issues. Estey? No clue. Basically an unknown until DeBell anointed her his successor.*

* The comments expressed here and elsewhere are my own and not the position of Sue Peters or her campaign. : )

Anonymous said...

The smearing is distasteful all around.

Melissa, you say: "I do know for a fact that the request was made." But beyond that you conflate facts and assumptions and, I believe, unfairly defame Jean. Do you know for a fact that the emails being sought were about Sue's children and their education? Or are you leaping to conclusions? As was alluded to by another poster, there is history that provides another explanation for the request (history that might balance out the distaste-o-meter). And do you know for a fact that Jean wasn't assured private information of a certain sort would be protected?

-Not Black and White

Jon said...

Oh, this train wreck is getting good. Jean Bryant's allies are responding by going on the attack? Break out the popcorn!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Voter, c'mon, that's not the Peters campaign. There is nothing about that at her website or on the campaign trail.

I'm reporting what I learn (and was already out in the APP ether) and it's negative? I also note that when someone said "Sue isn't the victim", my immediate reply was okay, tell me what you know about her. I'm still waiting.

Not Black and White, I do know that the e-mails were between Sue and her children's teachers/principal. Not to teachers that weren't her children's.

"And do you know for a fact that Jean wasn't assured private information of a certain sort would be protected?"

What does that even mean? Are you saying Jean would be assured that her request would be private? That's not how that works (and I know that). Public disclosure works both ways.

I think Jean did a good job all by herself.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have made that records request, I do think it crossed a line, and I don't want to dredge up the likely content here. But it strains credulity to think Jean would actually be looking for information on Sue's children. There's email history within schools on lots more than children.

About privacy...I was referring to protection of any private information specific to the children referenced within the requested emails, not Jean's privacy.

-Not Black and White

mirmac1 said...

Not Black and White,

Melissa wrote: "She filed a public disclosure to the district for e-mails between Peters and the principal and Peters and her children's teachers."

PRR log lists Bryant's request for Peters' emails with Rina G. and with Peters' child's teacher.

What do you THINK Peters' was emailing about? The date of the next bake sale?

Bzzzt! Si'down!

Mary Griffin said...

In reference to the claim that Jean Bryant made public records requests for emails between Sue Peters and Sue Peter's child's teacher, the following records are pursuant.

The Public Record Request Log of Seattle Public Schools contains this entry: 7/20/2013
Bryant, Jean requested emails between and Between 10/2012 and 7/2013?; And and Between 1/2012 and 7/2013; And and Between 9/2011- 7/2012; And and Between 4/2013 and 6/2013; As Kay
also uses to conduct board business, ideally it would be great to include that address."

People can make all the public record requests they want. They aren't always going to get filled, and I doubt that this one was filled in its entirety. The log does not say.

I don't have a problem about public record requests about communications between public employees. This request goes over the line.

I also don't see how Suzanne Dale-Estey could control an overzealous supporter using questionable judgement.

But I do see how she should disassociate herself from this kind of thing in a far bigger manner than she has.

She should speak up.

Anonymous said...

Where do you access the public record request log?

inquiring minds

Anonymous said...

How rich Mirmac. You take great pride in blanketing the district with public information requests You may not go after people's kids you have a long history of vitriol on this blog toward anyone on SPS staff or in the community who does not share your crusades and point of view. You hound people relentlessly and personally and publicly. Tolley, DeBaros, Enfield, anyone at the Alliance, Stritikus, Campbell on and on and on.

But when someone else uses the same tactics that you've trumpeted, you are above it all? Pot meet Big Black Kettle.

You chastize directors like Carr and DeBell who attend fundraisers for candidates you don't like --and clearly you don't like Estey. But did you publicize the big ol fundraising efforts Kay Smith-Blum just had for Peters? No you did not.

Pot Meet Big Black Kettle

Blog Reader

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Mary, for me I think you hit the nail on the head. Dale-Estey claims to run a grassroots campaign and yet has PACs pouring huge sums of money into getting her elected. She claims a clean campaign and is perfectly OK with PAC/Bryant playing dirty. She want's it both ways and for me she should stand up and disavow the PACs and Bryant, not to do so simply makes them all one big ball of wax.

Anonymous said...

To restate..... it's funny that Bryant is doling out disclosure requests like Texas Hold Em night. It's the Frankenstein story all over. Or perhaps the Republicans and the Tea Party they allowed to be born but can no longer control.

You teach and trumpet the tactic, you got no credibility criticizing a pupil gone astray.

Blog Reader

Anonymous said...

I think you should close this discussion and also quit talking about Jean Bryant. I don't know her personally, and don't support her efforts, whatever they are, but I think this blog should stop talking about her. I'm not sure which school board candidate be better, but Jean Bryant is not running. I'm starting to wish there was a third option for that seat since it somehow has become so hugely important.

Anonymous said...

Blog reader - you admit that Mirmac doesn't go after people's kids, which is exactly what Bryant IS doing. Those aren't the same tactics. Going after someone's kids crosses a big line. Getting public information requests to find out how taxpayer dollars are being spent (i.e. TFA, Alliance 4 Ed shindigs) are a completely different animal. THAT is not pot and kettle.

As for why knowing who Dale-Estey's handlers and funders is important? Look to Denver and purchasing of their school board. David Sirota just released a powerful article that references how the new Ed Deformers who bought their school board seats and are busy destroying public education to benefit their (not public) charter schools and other "educational endeavors". It's behind a firewall, but you might be able to find a copy somewhere.
Scary reading, and as we have often seen, similar situations will start showing up in Washington State to a greater degree than they may have already manifested themselves, particularly if 1240 is upheld and we end up with private charters receiving public funding. The more we know ahead of time, the better we can protect public education so that it indeed stays public.


Anonymous said...

Looking at the request as it was posted above, it appears that this was focused on emails between Peters and Smith Blum. Is it possible this was about Smith Blum using influence improperly on Peters' behalf? I'm not sure the request so clearly shows that this is about Peters' children, as Melissa assumed in her post.
- not jumping

Anonymous said...

If that's the case, why does the request include email exchanges between Peters and Melinda Huff (Woodbury) who is a 2nd grade APP teacher, and Rina G, the defacto principal of Lowell APP? The KSB ones I can completely understand and have no issues with. When requests are made for emails between parent and teacher, and the requester is not one of the parents, I have issues with that.


Melissa Westbrook said...

NE Mom, understand that Bryant put this out into the ether herself.

She probably wanted the people on the e-mail list - given it was a campaign issue e-mail - to go out and tell their friends and families and co-workers malicious lies about Sue Peters (I didn't even document all that was said).

That all got out into the SNAPP list serv and passed around.

And now that it hits the bigger news, it is wrong to talk about? Shooting the messenger much?

No, the wrong choice was made by Ms. Bryant who has - and I would say this as someone in the same position - put herself out there for a candidate issue. She did it for BEX IV (against it because of Eckstein) and now she's doing it for Dale Estey.

She and I don't have much in common on what we support but I give her credit for putting her name on what she does.

The majority of the e-mails are to APP at Lincoln staff if you read carefully.

Understand, I am making an assumption about what is in the e-mails because frankly, it's none of my business. But if someone asks for e-mails for a teacher and principal from a parent at their school, there is bound to be overlap. I note no keywords that would have ejected e-mails including Peters' children.

Christina said...

It's a shame the Blog Guidelines URL in the Links section (lower right) hasn't been updated. Looks like some visitors think banal and vapid accusations are fine when the visitors have noms de guerre to hide behind.

I submitted a list of proposed URL changes a few months ago, as it's been awhile since Seattle Schools changed its content management system and site tree, but not the Round Tuit required to implement the URL updates. I don't remember if I found the Blog Guidelines before, but we shouldn't have to sign in to to read them.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm…I smell a rat. I thought I read Cindy W's emails were also part of this records request. Why are you focusing on one school? From what I can tell, Sue has put out plenty of hate and who is calling her on it? Of course it's not you Melyssa since you are friends.

-Pumpkin patch

Anonymous said...

How did Sue P get my email and ask for money if she didn't get it from the KSB list serve?? I won't be voting for Sue.

NE mama

Sue B. said...

This email was forwarded to me when I questioned the public records request:

"Some parents have extended me the courtesy of reaching out offline regarding my public records requests and others will continue to post or blog with misinformation, that can’t be helped. As someone I respect I wanted to explain to you the back story to my reasoning behind the public records request.

First of all I have never filed a public request before, but district staff clearly explained that I would NOT be receiving parent-child-teacher sensitive information strictly protected by FERPA. Public record requests are very common among bloggers and reporters seeking a story or encounter. When Melissa Westbrook and Sue Peters went on the attack of our principal, Rina, public records were filed. It is my understanding that school board member, Kay Smith-Blum, has even overloaded the records requests for emails involving Lincoln parent and FACMAC chair, Elizabeth Wong.

As a professional blogger running for an important elected position, Sue of all people should be able to handle scrutiny regarding her school and district relationships especially since she has no board experience to draw from and in my opinion her history as a blogger has not demonstrated any ability to collaborate. Whether you agree with public records requests or not, they are legal and serve the purpose of accountability.

As you can imagine, when I was PTA president and BLT rep I was privy to a wide variety of conversations and frustrations among Lincoln staff. I have experience firsthand one of Sue Peters’ attack including posting my email on the blogs in an unsuccessful attempt to advance her personal agenda and am keenly aware of her unfair treatment of Rina and her vocal dissatisfaction with Ms. Huss during her part-time return from maternity leave.

I did not see the emails that Sue sent to the teachers and Rina, but did see the tears and brokenness as a result. She did not ask Rina for a meeting prior to sending her an extensive email demanding for her resignation. Followed by one from her husband copied to the entire PTA board. And for someone who says she values teachers and APP teacher retention, Ms. Huss was truly driven out.

My public request was made in July after my PTA responsibilities were complete, in an attempt to capture those encounters. I had no plan to use the information in any campaign function, Suzanne doesn’t work that way. Her campaign has never asked me to do it and has no involvement in the matter. To be completely honest I had no idea what I would find and what I would do - it was mostly a quest for clarity. To this day, none of those public records have been circulated.

I do not plan on retaliating on FB or the APP blog because I believe this avenue of communication does a great disservice to our community. I am very aware of the one-sided personal attacks and censorship that the blogs represent. Personally, I believe this election is too pivotal to lose site of the real issues - healthy governance. Last time I checked, I’m not the one running for school board. I choose to be FOR Suzanne, not AGAINST Sue.

As I have continued to say, I am always open to discuss concerns and hope you will continue to reach out to me instead of participating in online attacks. I would also request that this email does NOT get forwarded because this is truly written to you, not to get picked apart and posted on a blog later. I also hope you come and meet Suzanne tomorrow and discover why I am over-the-top-excited about her. Thank you for contacting me.


Jean Bryant"

Anonymous said...


I'm not going to create a laundry list of every mean or misguided statement made by Sue Peters, and wouldn't want to prolong this blog topic. Just to be clear, I will say that I've personally witnessed Sue in action and don't support her as a member of the School Board.

I believe that Jean Bryant's intent was to highlight Sue's communication style and ability to collaborate, which are relevant judgement criteria for a School Board candidate, and not to expose her children to privacy violations. And even if I didn't believe this of Bryant, I know to my core that every conflict arises when both people contribute. Bryant used poor judgement in the public disclosure request...but Peters has disparaged Bryant as well. Even before the request for disclosure.

I am most disappointed in this post, which reads like a Bryant witch hunt or like something designed to rally a Sue Peters sympathy vote...neither of which are valid reasons to vote/not vote for either candidate. I hope that most people will ignor this attempt to elevate emotions and vote for whoever they believe is most capable in the job - even if you disagree with me.


Anonymous said...

I was in a second grade parent meeting with Sue P and Jean Braynt attended as a PTA rep. It makes sense that Jean asked for emails from Sue since there was some challenging circumstances that took place for all of us. What is Sue hiding?

--Transparency please

mirmac1 said...

Thanks Sue B. for this:

"It is my understanding that school board member, Kay Smith-Blum, has even overloaded the records requests"

In my admittedly numerous disclosure requests (none as odious, however), I have never seen KSB submit one. Never. I urge anyone so inclined to, yes, submit one for that information.

I feel no need to justify my numerous requests. Many parents and media have benefitted from the outcome of those records. The records serve to inform both my own and others' opinions about how this district does business.

The only "fishing expedition" I engaged in is the emails between high-level staff, directors and "powerbrokers". They proved very illuminating. I hope there are SPS stakeholders who felt more fully informed by the interesting emails that resulted. These were emails with public employees, elected directors, and third-parties.

I'll admit that I considered for one minute to "fish" for Bryant's and Estey's emails. But, for whatever reason, I did not think this was right. Wha....?! Scruples?!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melissa Westbrook said...

:When Melissa Westbrook and Sue Peters went on the attack of our principal, Rina, public records were filed. It is my understanding that school board member, Kay Smith-Blum, has even overloaded the records requests for emails involving Lincoln parent and FACMAC chair, Elizabeth Wong. "

I have no idea what this even means. I sit through meetings where the public disclosure officer comes and reports to the Board and I have never heard her use the word "overloaded."

Define "board experience."

That the principal and a teacher expressed frustrations about one parent to a PTA president is very unprofessional and may not even be legal. As a ex-PTA President myself, I was NEVER told of any teacher or principal issues by my principal or any teacher. So there is no "as you can imagine" except that apparently they do things differently at Lincoln. If I were a parent at Lincoln, if this is how it is done - the PTA president is "privy" to internal staff issues/discussions - I would be quite distressed.

Why Jean thinks it important to "capture" these encounters, I don't know.

"I had no plan to use them in a campaign function" and yet an e-mail was sent out - a campaign e-mail. Whether Suzanne knew it or not, that information was used in a campaign sense. That e-mail was clearly FOR Suzanne and very clearly AGAINST Sue. Should I release the whole thing?

Again, the post was not really about Jean - and I bookended that way - to ask the question, do the supporters of a campaign represent the campaign or mean something about the candidate?

Clearly, there were issues between Sue and Jean but Jean is the one who has carried them into this campaign.

Melissa Westbrook said...

And, of course, Dale Estey remains silent. Just like in the primary.

Anonymous said...

Wow. If I were either Sue Peters or Dale Estey, I would stay far, far away from commenting on this thread. This is a lot of hearsay and mudslinging and if both of them are following through on their claims of running positive campaigns, they know that this is not the appropriate forum. It's surprising that you are surprised by that.
- not jumping

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say a word about this if I were either candidate. It makes everyone look bad and as a voter, right now I'm considering leaving that race blank on my ballot. This is crazy sh*t.

Another1 Disappointed

Anonymous said...

Nice try Jean.

Your explanation reads like a thinly veiled attempt to rationalize behavior that most people would find creepy. Mature adults will often disagree, and people will passionately defend their position. Debating issues is okay. But you crossed the line. Clearly you were on a fishing expedition looking for anything you could find to smear Sue and advance your chosen candidate.

What is even more remarkable is that you continue to engage is innuendo without a single specific example or reference from the public records you garnered. I can only guess you came up short. Instead you continue to make vague reference to “conversations” among folks at Lincoln. Amazing.

And to reference a teary-eyed Rina Geoghagan is equally puzzling. Let’s not forget that Ms. Geoghagan, along with Principal King, were sited for misconduct by an independent investigator who determined both mishandled reports of potential inappropriate touching between a staff person and special ed students at Lowell. To make matters worse, Ms. Geohagen punished the staff for filing the initial reports. She can cry a river, but her behavior was inexcusable.

Your carefully parsed “story” is simply not credible no matter how much you try to talk around the issues. You want to engage in behavior that most people would find unseemly, but then justify it through some convoluted rationale. Whatever. Maybe that makes you feel better and fools a few. I’m not buying it.


Anonymous said...

Is this school board race really for an ungrateful, volunteer, non paying position where you will work endlessly 24/7, won't get a thank you if everything goes well (or even just OK) but you would be the first to blame if something bad happens at SPS?

Anonymous said...

I don't have a kid at Lincoln, but I read the APP blog because we have debated moving him.

I paid attention to the reaction to the King/Geoghagen misconduct and remember being heartened by Sue's willingness to speak up against the many who seemed to want to pretend this rather serious incident (in my view) never happened. I don't like a hunker down and protect our own mentality AT ALL. I like Sue's backbone.


Anonymous said...


You attribute mean, misguided and disparaging statements to Peters - without offering a single fact - while decrying "witch hunts" and not wishing to prolong the discussion.

That is just rich.


OH SNAPP! said...

Sue B and Jean Bryant offer way to much information and Disappointment jumps in. At best, dysfunctional.

Anonymous said...

To me, what ruins this race is Estey's PAC, which consists of the same donors, by and large, as those who supported Maier and Sundquist. Those individuals bought 4 seats on the school board to enact their Ed Reform agenda, and we have lived with the consequences ever since, despite turning out 2 of the gang-of-four in the last election. Do we want to go back to a rubber-stamp school board again, carrying forth the agenda of the people who bought the seats on the board? Or do we want the actual community, students and parents being represented on the School Board?

It's unfortunate that I can't give Estey the benefit of the doubt, but I made that mistake with Sundquist and Maier, and its obvious when one looks at races around the country that those dollars aren't simply donations, but investments with expected returns. There's no independence or lack of pressure to deliver when the dollar amounts get so high. I'd like to believe that, after surviving MGJ and the gang-of-four, we've learned our lesson. But following the money says "new candidates, same agenda." And I can't go for that.

Anonymous said...

Oops! WSDWG Above.

Anonymous said...

For anonymous so your post is not deleted:
To me, what ruins this race is Estey's PAC, which consists of the same donors, by and large, as those who supported Maier and Sundquist. Those individuals bought 4 seats on the school board to enact their Ed Reform agenda, and we have lived with the consequences ever since, despite turning out 2 of the gang-of-four in the last election. Do we want to go back to a rubber-stamp school board again, carrying forth the agenda of the people who bought the seats on the board? Or do we want the actual community, students and parents being represented on the School Board?

It's unfortunate that I can't give Estey the benefit of the doubt, but I made that mistake with Sundquist and Maier, and its obvious when one looks at races around the country that those dollars aren't simply donations, but investments with expected returns. There's no independence or lack of pressure to deliver when the dollar amounts get so high. I'd like to believe that, after surviving MGJ and the gang-of-four, we've learned our lesson. But following the money says "new candidates, same agenda." And I can't go for that.


Anonymous said...


Yes, I realize how funny that sounds. I'm sorry you didn't understand my ironic tone. The point is, I heard a rumor too...but I don't know first hand and can't publish it as fact. I didn't throw names out there - this blog did. I think it was a poor decision to post this thread. And no, my "source" isn't Jean Bryant. I've never spoken to the woman. I am a truly undecided voter - I am not impressed with either candidate. (Luckily, I don't have to vote for Jean Bryant). I have had one direct interaction with Sue Peters, and found her very passionate, if myopic, and thought she was incapable of seeing any other point of view, which is not a good trait for a board member. She can be incredibly abrasive. Estey I don't like just be her association with her supporters. But I've never met her personally. So there you have it - rock and a hard place. They are both running campaigns that are disgraceful. I know this blog never purported to be unbiased, but this post was over the line and served no purpose but to stir up the mudslinging.
-Signing off.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Sounds like a real cat fight! Sue and Jean, yikes... Well, they both sound awful! Who has time to do scads and scads of public record requests or spend time and energy excoriating their principal?

Looks like the only one to vote for is Estey! No she doesn't need to apologize for anything. What is she supposed to say? "Gee I'm really sorry those 2 got in a catfight." Ridiculous! Just not being one of the others, and not being in APP, is already better, albeit it's hardly an endorsement either.

Signing Off 2

mirmac1 said...

Signing off,

I respect your position. Rereading your post, I see you were posting someone else's words. I shouldn't have attributed the content to you.

There were many times that I just plain refused to vote for the names on the ballot. This time however I'm not in that quandary.

I hope you will not "Sign off" and will continue advocating. : )

mirmac1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Whoever is trying to drum up pity for Rina (as referenced by skeptic above) should stop now. That woman will play whatever card she has to come out on top, even if she has to walk all over you -or your kid - to do so. She is cold, calculating, and very much her own best friend, as her former friends, acquaintances, and colleagues can attest to. And yes, I absolutely have firsthand knowledge of this. It would not surprise me to find her fingers actively stirring as much trouble up as she can for someone she felt has wronged her or caused her any strife. And now that she has her good buddy Flip in a higher up district admin position, she's got herself in the catbird seat. For now, anyway. You've been warned.
Shoreline redux.

Anonymous said...

It sounds to me like Sue P has no problem stomping on people, but when it happens to her, she runs straight to the blog to protect her and make her seem like she has done nothing wrong. From reading the posts above, it seems Jean requested information about topics she already knew about. I am curious about the emails between Blum and Peters and what those contained.


Anonymous said...

ALL of this sickens me from the top down including this blog. Really people really? WOW. Hope my kids aren't in class with yours. Great modeling.

-Proud of my modeling

Jon said...

Here come the troll(s)!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Signing Off, tsome reports are just straight-up reporting and some are going to contain reporting and opinion. That's the nature of a blog. I think it's been pretty clear which is which.

I challenge anyone to show me a blog without bias.

As well, again, shoot the messenger. I was not the person who wanted this message out in the ether,hoping it would convince people to vote for Dale Estey. Do keep that in mind.

I have said, if you can tell me what Peters has done IN HER CAMPAIGN that you don't like, please let us know. I haven't heard a single thing about that.

And again, I bookmarked this thread very carefully - it is not about what Bryant did - it is about who Estey surrounds herself with and what they will do in order to help her win.

It's called integrity. And asked two questions at the beginning which everyone has ignored. That would be a good discussion.

Anonymous said...

Despite all this, I'm more stuck than ever.

The Estey campaign can step back from this fray and claim this is really personal business between two people. Has nothing to do with the candidate herself. On the 1mm surface, this maybe true. But it stinks.

It could be that Peters is thorny and difficult to deal with. You can argue this does not lend to board harmony. BUT neither does Estey's do nothing position! There lies the rub for me.

What is the difference in having a proxy opponent to stir up such a distraction than doing it yourself. In the end both styles are bad for Board governance and are just as pernicious and destructive.

There is no winner here. Whatever doubts I have are stronger than ever. If you were to make a caricature of these 2 candidates, you get one possible hot head and the other a behind the scene, divisive manipulator.

It's just bad all around. Perhaps a write in candidate..... Anyone?


Anonymous said...

Aside from an apparent go-round with a principal and assistant principal, both of whom were found guilty of misconduct, I have yet to see a fact alleged against Peters in this smear campaign. The closest anything gets toward a fact are the unproven allegations in Bryant's e-mail, such as the apparent allegation that Peters herself drove a teacher out of the building. Which, of course, doesn't pass the laugh test, as no parent has any such power in this district, especially if the teacher had support of both principals and the PTA. But aside from that, where are the facts in this smear campaign? I have yet to see any.

To those who call Peters "abrasive" and such, I can attest first-hand that she's no pushover and doesn't swallow BS. If you've been in this district awhile, you know we need that. If you value go-along-to-get-along, over accountability, don't vote for her. She's definitely not your type.

However, if you want someone who's collaborated and worked with parents all over this district for a decade to improve schools from the grassroots up, Peters is it. She doesn't have the friends in high places like her opponent. Instead she has them in APP, Leschi, Rainier Beach, West Seattle, Pinehurst, North Beach, Salmon Bay, Lowell, Thurgood Marshall, Wedgewood, and on and on. If she loses this race, she'll continue that work, because that's who she is.

IMHO, the fault with Peters lies in her ability to see the big picture and all its moving parts, which makes people uncomfortable and feel overwhelmed. With all that's gone on in North End APP it doesn't seem those folks enjoy hearing "wait, slow down, or don't," and who can blame them? But, by looking out for the district as a whole, and not always in the self-interests of North End APP, I have no doubt Peters has often been the unpopular voice in the room. But that's the price that's often paid by those who look at the long-term, beyond their own self-interests and outside the walls of their own schools. People have to constantly be reminded that we're all in this together, and they don't always like it.

But, to return to the main point, where are the facts? Things like "I didn't read the e-mails but I saw the tears" or "Peters can stomp on people" are not very persuasive, considering the sources. How about facts?

Otherwise, we're electing a School Board member like we'd elect a Prom Queen. Yuck.


Anonymous said...

I don't see why perceived as abrasive is necessarily a black mark for Peters as a School Board candidate (or board member). After all, the Board Member she and Estey are hoping to replace - DeBell - is nothing if not abrasive and not willing to work well with those of differing perceptions. (And what is worse, he's smug, too.)

Estey & I have mutual friends who have told me that Estey is not a supporter of charter schools and a reform agenda, but I don't trust that information because I haven't heard her say anything directly on the subject and her campaign website is remarkably content-free from a policy/platform perspective. Therefore in the absence of any actual information (and I have asked a couple of direct questions, to which I'm still waiting answers), for me, Estey is an unacceptable candidate by association: 1) endorsed by the extremely damaging DeBell; 2) the sources of her campaign financing.


Anonymous said...

I'm off to work so I'll end here with these thoughts. I envy you WSDWG, I wish I have personal experiences with both candidates as that would help me decide. I know the ballots are coming.

So this is my gamble vote, + the mayoral one. But this one has more potential for vastly different outcome depending on who wins. That's what driving my voting decision.

Until this point, Estey has been a bland candidate for me because she has no track record in the district. There isn't much there except what gets in the ST or mailed out. I went this morning to both their websites and read. I noted their endorsers.

What this whole ridiculous sideshow tells me is I rather have a firebrand than a manipulator. Professionally, I can handle an abrasive personality on the team than one who play manipulative head games. In my job, this matters in my patient outcome.

So I'm gambling on Sue Peters. I'm gambling that Peters as Board member will move beyond the narrow group she has been most associated with. I'm gambling that she will embrace SPED and those constituents that you rarely hear on any blog or see at community meetings (A change in zip code has been my personal eye opener.)

I think Estey's heart is in the right place, but her campaign shows a hardness there and perhaps a greater political ambition than just mere school district board member. There's nothing wrong with that, but politics forge strange partnerships and not always good ones. I fear that's being played out right before our eyes.

I don't want this on our Board. I want peace in the valley. I want the board to work with Mr. Banda and get us through some very tough challenges ahead. I don't want the distraction of ed reform politics, TFAs, charters, latest learning gizmos, state/city politics or for that matter, personal politics to detract from that work.

I want a well governed and managed school district to be proud of and healthy learning environment for our kids.


Too Much said...

Documentation indicates that Jean Bryant has met with Estey's high profile campaign manager- Christian Sinderman.

Bryant is not an innocent bystander.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ugh, well-articulated and thoughtful. Nice job.

I will point out one thing about comments about Sue's advocacy at APP@ Lincoln. She was willing to stand up and be counted. She asked hard questions and didn't back down. Was that abrasive? I wasn't there.

But, in the end, both the principals got sanctions.

And, we find out that the one that remains at Lincoln has been having inappropriate personnel conversations with at least one PTA parent (and maybe she's continuing that on today, I don't know) who used that knowledge in a campaign e-mail against Sue Peters.

You are known by who you associate with. That people are taking a harder look at Dale Estey's list of supporters (and financial contributors) is a good thing.

Look at both candidates' supporters. Look for a broad base of people. Ask yourself if you see names that might go into one category rather than a broad spectrum of the community.

I'm going to the City Club One-Stop Ballot Shop tonight where the candidates will be at tables and you can talk to them one-on-one. Get their views, find out what they know about the growth boundaries or math adoption or any burning issue.

It's at the Armory starting at 5 p.m. It's a golden opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Both candidates will also be at the Maple Leaf candidates forum at Olympic View on Wednesday October 16th.


Melissa Westbrook said...

And at Lawton next week.

Go. Listen. These are good opportunities.

Just Wow said...

Records indicate that Jean Bryant met with Estey's high profile consultant- Christian Sinderman- last August with other community members.

Estey's SECOND consultant- ARGO STRATEGIES- set-up the meeting.

Anonymous said...

As a long-time APP parent, I'm disgusted. When everything happened with RG, I was disgusted that the PTA, led by Jean, was so quick to stifle parents with VERY legitimate questions by releasing an unquestioned support letter to the media. A pawn. Good on Sue for asking those questions anyway. At least she's got the stones to. (Full disclosure, no dog in this fight, I'm just horrified by SDE's followers. If it's got anything to do with that group of people, I'm not interested.) Regardless of the outcome, they needed to be asked. And for Jean to talk about tears and driving out teachers is laughable. Ask her about the massive bullying campaign she led as PTA president to have parents literally pull their students out of class to boycott a teacher until the teacher was removed. The PTA there has access to far too much information at the school because Rina is a pawn, and they have more influence than they should. There was a mass exodus of teachers, and the youth/inexperience of the majority of staff there speaks for itself. I'm on the SNAPP FB page and haven't chimed in in a while, but conversations surrounding this campaign that should have nothing to do with our students that are dominating the now vitriol-filled page, while conversations about the PTA actually funding teacher's classrooms who have been asking for years for basic supplies have gone ignored. That organization isn't worth my money for their mega campaign anymore. Not with the agenda-driven, myopic mafia at the helm. It's a bullying, selfish culture that's not really focused on our students. It's sad and disgusting.

-What Are We Fighting For

Steve said...

Hi. The remark by What Are We Fighting For about the APP @ Lincoln PTA not providing teachers with funds for basic supplies is nonsense. The PTA has always provided significant funds, to every teacher. I know...I wrote all the checks in the past two years! Criticize what you like, but this just isn't factual. Carry on...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you missed the thread, Steve, but it's what I'm looking at right now. From what I gather, it's a need too large to draw any true help from the PTA. Too occupied with rallying for divisive causes like elections to even get behind their multiple year request in a meaningful way. That tells me we've lost our way a bit and have forgotten where our huge energies should be going. And if you were the one writing the checks, you should know this more than most.

-What Are We Fighting For

Anonymous said...

Steve - do you know why the music teacher does not have a set of musical instruments basic to her teaching the class? I'm really just asking the snark intended. Aside from the whole separation from Lowell debacle...why are we in our 3rd year and she still doesn't have these basic items.