The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 12, 1999

To the Editor:

At this time I would like to inform the Town of Carlisle that we have withdrawn our complaint against them with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Last year our child was involved in a situation between her and an adult at the Carlisle School that we considered harassment. We began our year-long ordeal trying to explain our situation to the administration. We hoped that by bringing the problem to their attention we could resolve the matter. We soon came to find out that there were no policies in place to deal with sexual harassment, and the school seemed unwilling or unable to adhere to the federal guidelines concerning harassment. The school set about trying to rectify the situation, but their solutions in the end only punished our daughter. The one staff member that tried to help experienced her own form of harassment and retaliation. We sought help directly from Superintendent Fox-Melanson and Principal Goyer, and found no relief. We sought the help of chairman of the school committee Dockterman, school committee member Nock, and the rest of the school committee, and we were told that the school committee doesn't have a say in staff issues. We were forced to seek the help of outside agencies such as the United States Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, who then led us to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). These agencies have investigated our situation.

We have now learned that the school committee has drafted and adopted a new sexual harassment policy with specific procedures to follow in the event that another child finds him/herself being harassed in school. Every member of the school staff has also attended a sexual harassment workshop. Hopefully with these changes no child will go through what our child endured. No family will be left with the choices offered us, which were to leave our child in an inappropriate environment or take her out of the school.

We began this process to effect a positive change in the Carlisle School System. The MCAD action was our only way of precipitating a positive outcome. It was not our intention to receive a monetary gain. We see that changes are beginning to take place, and hope that more progress can be achieved.

We do believe that the school is heading in the right direction, but I think it is worth noting that the Carlisle School is not a system, in and of itself, that can make its own rules and direct its own activities. They need to abide by all the federal and state guidelines. And don't forget—They Work For Us!

As a community we need to remember that just because your child is not having a problem doesn't mean that you need not concern yourself. Everything that goes on at the school can directly or indirectly affect every child. Standing by and not becoming part of the solution makes us part of the problem. My daughter decided to live this quote: "Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can change until it is faced." People complain that teenagers won't talk to adults and they blame it on adolescence. I don't agree. I think that as our children get older and their questions get harder and their problems aren't as easily fixed, the children may still be talking, but it's the adults that are no longer listening.

Marion H. Alberico
formerly of Timothy Lane

Pumpkin Spectacle a smashing success

To the Editor:

The 16th

Our thanks also to Saint Irene Church who provided the space. The Friends of the Gleason Library provided the prizes and refreshments (with cider given by Diane Cuchinello). Our performer John Porcino, was made possible by a grant from the Carlisle Cultural Council.

Marty Seneta
for the Gleason Library staff

Grateful for a long Town Meeting

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Odyssey of the Mind program would like to thank the residents of Carlisle for another successful bake sale at the Special Town Meeting this year. Staying there until well after 11 p.m. was just what we needed to stimulate appetites and sell those last few cookies and beverages. The money will go to help pay for program fees and coaches' training.

Rob Lyons
OM Coordinator

Support your candidate

To the Editor:

With the presidential campaign 2000 heating up, it is a good time to start organizing locally for our preferred candidates. The issues being put into play by Republicans, Democrats and independent parties will have an impact on each of us. The opportunity to participate in this uniquely American electoral process is a gift available for all those so inclined to labor in our vibrant political system.

I invite all interested citizens of Carlisle who may wish to join me in working in former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley's presidential campaign for the Democratic Party's nomination to contact me by phone at 287-4100 or e-mail at Prior thereto, you may also wish to contact Senator Bradley's Web site at to learn more about his positions. We will be scheduling organizational meetings soon and hope to form a Carlisle campaign team within the next few weeks.

Bill McCormick
Bellows Hill Road

Thanks from Friends of Conant

To the Editor:

Thanks to all Special Town Meeting attendees for your thoughtful consideration and close attention to our presentation of Article 6, asking for the conservation of the Conant Land. Although we did not prevail this time, we were heartened by the positive feedback we have received.

Also, a special thank you to the nearly 200 registered voters who signed our petition, allowing us to bring this article before the Town Meeting for discussion.

Sharon Connors
Westford Street

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito