Wednesday, April 14, 2010

All Roads Lead to South Hadley

UPDATE 9:00 PM So the venerable Republican did a (slow) live blog of the meeting and to no surprise the system closed in to protect itself. School Committee Chair Edward J. Boisselle cut off the first speaker saying he was being "offensive".

And when main critic Luke Gelinas publicly asked for Superintendent Gus Sayer, and high school Principal Daniel T. Smith to resign or be fired the School Chair threw him out of the meeting. By meeting close the diffident School Committee failed to take any action on sanctioning school employees for failing to protect 15-year-old Phoebe Prince.

I have a feeling this is F-A-R from over.

Tonight's South Hadley School Committee meeting should be nothing if not interesting--a real shootout at the OK Corral.

I'll put my money on critic Darby O'Brien--not just because he's Irish or a Public Relations pro--but because he's right. And righteousness will not be denied. The point man is usually first to draw fire.

Of course I've been there a few times myself--what with the Amherst Select Board mulling a Muzzle Larry Kelley ordinance.

What public officials the world over never seem to understand is that passionate critics--even the ones who shoot from the hip--are motivated from their very core. Perhaps, in this case, the reason South Hadley officials don't get it is because they themselves sorely lack a core.

The Springfield Republican reports


Anonymous said...

What's up with your new beat lurking outside the S. Hadley High School? There are no bathroom hot water issues in Amherst for you these days?

LarryK4 said...

Oh, I'm sure there will be tons of Bricks-and-Mortar media lurking both outside and inside South Hadley High School later tonight.


Anonymous said...

Imagine not only having to fire an old comrade, but also being burdened with TWO superintendent controversies at the same time?!

What happened Kathryn Mazur, I thought you were "up for the challenge"?

All eyes on you tonight, babe.

All eyes on you...

Anonymous said...

Call Mazur tomorrow Larry. You know the number. Ask her to explain the fascist approach...

She can.

She's an architect of it.

Anonymous said...

What I read here today in the post on this blog is utter nonsense, with no attempt to apply any logic, reason, insight, or, most importantly, humanity to the ongoing situation.

No one, including Mr. Kelley, seems willing to acknowledge that there might be limits to what we know and can understand, that we are dealing with something terribly mysterious: the decision of a young person to end her life. Do we know exactly what went into that decision, what exactly drove her to it? We have some fragmentary information about what the short term stresses were, but we know very little about this girl's life before she came to South Hadley.

Mr. O'Brien said on Channel 22 on Sunday: "We all know what happened here." You mean all the little steps to get to a self-inflicted death? Oh no, we don't. Not him, not anybody.

We are now seeing adults behaving like adolescents, completely enthralled with their own righteousness (good word, Larry), expecting that the authority figures in their community are all-knowing and all-seeing, and, when it's clear that they're not, taking them down personally and publicly to pay for the shortcomings of a much wider community. As if that would somehow extinguish the collective sadness and regret about how this girl was neglected.

And in that adolescent-like rage, the wider picture of all the little unseen breakthroughs, all the little kindnesses, of several educators' careers is obscured and forgotten. In just the way that children react without thinking about things.

Rich Morse

LarryK4 said...

Perhaps it was before your time Mr. Morse but ARHS officials canceled 'West Side Story'not because they actually agreed with the young Puerto Rican student and thought it was racist but because the controversy had become a major distraction.

And yeah, I guess somebody could blame it on the media.

This awful incident in South Hadley has gone well beyond a major distraction. School officials have handled it miserably (before and after Phoebe Prince took her life).

They should step up by stepping down. I believe you once called it "statesmanship."

Anonymous said...

West Side Story?

Thanks for dragging in something completely irrelevent to the issue at hand.

Anonymous said...

The advocates for change in South Hadley need to get better public spokesman. The first guy, Darby Wilson, was exposed as a PR Guy speaking on behalf of the Prince family, without ever actually speaking to the Prince family. This guy Gelinas is a former South Hadley Police officer who was fired by the town. He was out on disability, but turned out it he was not disabled. The other thing that is odd, only 100 people showed up. South Hadley is a town of 17,000 people. It seems this story may be bigger outside of South Hadley than it is in South Hadley.

Anonymous said...

AMHERST - Regional School Committee members will have to decide whether they want to hire a consultant to look for superintendent candidates or conduct their own search.

Jacqueline Roy, the consultant whose search brought former Superintendent Alberto Rodriguez to Amherst, has declined to conduct another for free or at a reduced fee, to compensate the town for Rodriguez's March 8 departure after only eight months.

"I can't imagine why you would want to use my services,'" she said, according to committee Chairman Farshid Hajir. She's read Amherst's blogs and concluded that citizens would resent her involvement, he said.

Roy suggested that Amherst conduct a regional rather than national search, because New England school committees interact with superintendents more than other parts of the country. She said Amherst should make clear to candidates the number of night meetings required and the town's distinctive social and political culture, Hajir said.

An in-house search would save about $20,000 but would require more work by committee members and staff.

Maria Geryk is serving as interim superintendent until June 2011. The search that resulted in Rodriguez started 10 months before he started work here last July.

LOL. What a brilliant idea, ask her to do it for free.

Planet wha?

Amherst, arrogant and stupid to the fcking core.

Anonymous said...

Ask her to do it for free???

Look what we got when we paid! Can you imagine what she would turn up "for free"?

On a different note aimed at Anon 2:17, Wildwood still has no hot water. The school nurse, James, couldn't find any to use tending an injured child. And people are pontificating over on the CS board, while Amherst can't even provide hot water. Total disconnect with reality.

Anonymous said...

I hear Kellogg is creating a new breakfast cereal aimed at the Amherst market "Organic Prozac crunch".

Guaranteed to kill your hunger and your conscience is what it says on the box...

Ed said...

I still can't get over the letter that Mark Jackson wrote to me....

Anonymous said...


Have you posted the letter let? From the information I getting Amherst does not need a Superintendent of Schools. The Click has it in control. Go against the click and suffer is their motto.

LarryK4 said...

Scan it as a jpeg and I'll publish it.
Send to:

Ed said...

From the information I getting Amherst does not need a Superintendent of Schools. The Click has it in control. Go against the click and suffer is their motto.

First, it is clique, not click. Two different words, with two different meanings.

Second, the thing that truly leaped out at me when I saw the cc list, is how little distinction there is between the ARSD and UMass itself.

And third, yes, there most definitely an attitude that those who go against the clique at Planet UMass should be made to suffer - a point that those who sometimes sarcastically reference my tenure on this campus need to reflect upon.

And for the record, I care about students being taught something and being treated decently (and in compliance with legal obligations). I don't care about sandbox politics and never have.