The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 25, 1999

News

Sensitive issues for school

Prior to receiving word from the Office of Civil Rights regarding the complaint against the Carlisle School (See story on page 1), a discussion had ensued over the complexities of maintaining confidentiality versus addressing potential concerns over safety. Over the past couple of weeks, the Carlisle School Committee had adjourned their regular meeting twice to hold executive sessions: on June 8 to discuss legal issues and on June 14 to discuss contracts.

Mary Hult, news editor of the Carlisle Mosquito, was present at the June 14 meeting and spoke about the inherent complexities when one deals with news for the community, rumors and the pressures to print. She went on to say that in reference to some incidents at the school, townspeople have been looking for accurate information.

Although the school committee is bound by the public meeting law, it has the tool of executive session. Hult said that the paper tries to be sensitive, but it becomes more proactive if there are potential concerns pertinent to students' safety. CSC member Cindy Nock and Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson assured her that the school has always dealt promptly with safety issues. Chair David Dockterman commented that when there are students and personnel involved, confidentiality is an issue. "It would not be fair to anyone if the issue of confidentiality were compromised. We have a commitment to deal with the safety and education of every student."

Since information had not been forthcoming, Hult then asked if any legal complaints had been filed against a faculty member. Fox-Melanson answered that no legal complaints had been received. She said the school was told that allegedly a complaint had been filed with the federal Office of Civil Rights which is investigating a situation, but the school has not received any formal documentation. Nock said, "The school has not seen anything in writing and no agency has indicated anything that would require us to take action." Dockterman added that the school committee would support any investigation.


1999 The Carlisle Mosquito