The “letter to the editor” dated June 10, 2015 by Debbie Boyle seems to be an attempt to damage my credibility.  I refuse to allow that to happen.  I will dispute with facts the alleged mistruths Boyle writes about.

Boyle starts her letter off by stating, “the mandated SEPAC committee is formulated for special needs parents, educators, administrators, and community members”, she also states, “one of the purposes of this group is to bring awareness of special needs students to the entire community by allowing them to understand many of the issues that special needs parents and students are faced with.”  While in theory these are great expectations the law does not mandate any of them.  The mandate simply reads, “Each district Board of Education shall ensure that a special education parent advisory group is in place in the district to provide input to the district on issues concerning students with disabilities.”

Alleged mistruth #1 The board president personal letter

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Fact- Boyle wrote “A statement that I prepared in consultation with board attorneys” she also writes “I felt that the statement was necessary.”  These two quotes from Boyle’s letter make no reference to other board members involvement.  If that doesn’t indicate a personal letter, I don’t know what does.

Alleged mistruth #2 Board president has denied access to the Middle School for SEPAC to meet

Fact- Boyle wrote “SEPAC was asked to hold their “Parents only meeting” outside of the school district. “  In the personal statement read at the May 20th BOE meeting, she said and I quote, “Each SEPAC meeting must be open to the public.”  Both of these statements came after the SEPAC board was in receipt of the approved building usage form for our June meeting.  It is clear by these statements that said approval was being revoked and SEPAC was being denied entry to the Middle School for our June meeting.

Alleged truth #3 The Board has denied access to the Middle School

Fact- On this point I stand corrected.  Boyle took it upon herself to confer with the board attorney and make the decision to ask SEPAC to meet outside of the district without considering the input of the other board members.

Alleged mistruth #4 The district was non-compliant

Fact- When my daughter entered the special education program in 2008 until August of 2013, there was no active SEPAC organization.  There is no documentation to prove otherwise, therefore, the district was non-compliant.

With regards to a treasury account that was handed over to SEPAC by the BOE.  I have yet to be provided with any documentation that supports this.  Any funds the current board inherited were raised by a SEPAC that was active prior to 2006.  We have fundraising documents to prove this.

Boyle asks the question “If she did not know these mistruths, what else does she not know?”

  1. I do not know why you did not consult the entire board on this issue before making a decision on the building usage policy.
  2. I do not know why under previous board presidents our parent’s only meeting was not an issue for the BOE, but this year under BOE President Boyle it was unacceptable.
  3. I do not know why you doubted that I would provide the facts to dispute your alleged mistruths.

In closing Boyle references the fundraising events that she has personally held. She then states, “When you try to impugn my integrity and sincere desire to help these students you not only insult me, but all others who dedicate their careers to special needs kids.”  This is clearly a deflection tactic, as I have not made any comments with regards to Mrs. Boyle’s fundraising efforts, however, I would like to add that there are a number of ways to show support besides fundraising.

Barbara Cochrane

Co-Chair SEPAC