|Click to watch video of football board meeting|
Do facebook friendships count as endorsements? Among candidate Carl Piedmont's facebook friends are three current Oyster River school board members. That's 10% of his 30 facebook friends:
Tom's website went away so I made him one. Since Carl's is mentioned a couple of times below, I'll point out here Kenny's is KennyRotner.wordpress.com.
I suppose you can't put that much weight into facebook friendships. I once friended someone because otherwise they'd stalk me in person. Something more substantial is needed. For example, this letter showed up in my inbox. (Thanks people, and keep 'em coming.)
From: Megan Turnbull <email address omitted>
Date: Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Subject: Please support Carl Piedmont and his family in light of recent, personal attack in Fosters
Hello Friends and Community Members,
You may already know that Carl Piedmont is running for the Oyster River School Board. Like me, Carl is also a parishioner at the St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Durham.
On March 2, 2013, Fosters published a letter by Dr. Robert Barth of Lee which suggested that Carl, if elected, may try to impose extreme Christian fundamentalism in our school curricula. The letter also suggests that Carl should reveal his personal religious beliefs in order to dispel Barth's concerns. This letter makes multiple false statements and assumptions based upon the fact that Carl's oldest son attends a Christian college. The implications seem to be fear mongering and are as as relevant as suggesting that because my father attended Fordham University (a Jesuit institution), I, too, may try to impose creationism and prayer into the Oyster River curricula. Moreover, the letter's statements fail to acknowledge that the Board does not determine curricula and individual member's power rests with a quorum of the Board voting in a scheduled meeting.
Yesterday, Carl issued a letter to Fosters responding to Barth. Both letters are attached below and may also be found on Carl's web site: www.carlpiedmont.com
Besides appearing in Fosters, the Barth letter is being shared widely in an apparent attempt to thwart Carl from being elected. As someone who has suffered personally from both slanderous and libelous attacks, I encourage you to support the Piedmont family. Many of us know Carl's youngest two children, Samantha and Al, as well as his wife Amy. Such letters hurt families and loved ones, never mind the broader ramifications this particular letter has on personal freedom of religion. Also, please reflect on the divisiveness such letters can cause in our community.
Please consider doing the following:
- Sending a short letter to the editor in Fosters expressing your disdain for what was stated in the Barth letter. This may be done via e-mail at: http://www.fosters.com/
- Forwarding this e-mail to friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners to help put an end to such personal attacks in our community
- E-mailing Carl through his web site to lend your support and encouragement to him and his family
- Liking Carl Piedmont on his 'Carl Piedmont for School Board' Facebook page
If you are still undecided about the election, I also ask that you consider voting for Carl on Tuesday, March 12. I believe Carl would represent the best interests of children and bring in a fresh perspective. When Carl approached me about running, I was surprised anyone would be up for the task considering the nastiness one must endure. Nevertheless, Carl has the perfect demeanor and personality for the job; he has demonstrated this already by handling the recent situation in a calm and rational manner. To learn more about Carl, visit: www.carlpiedmont.com
Lastly, without Carl in office, the School Board will be comprised primarily of Board members without children in our District. And I, Megan Turnbull, will be the sole Board member who is neither a doctor or spouse of a doctor.
Diversity of thought, broad community representation, and respect for our differences are all critical to ensure School Board efficacy.
Thank you and I hope you and your families have a great week back from the break.
Well, I don't think there's any doubt that's an endorsement. And you see where I got the idea to look at Carl's facebook page.
I personally think Megan's characterization of Bob's letter as "fear mongering" is way off base. As for demeanor, I thought Carl, Megan, and Tom B. have seriously overreacted, replying defensively to perfectly legitimate questions about the candidates beliefs about teaching creationism, etc. in school. Sometimes I think some of the outrage is less than sincere, but who knows? Bob apologized, something Megan fails to mention.
As someone who shared Bob's letter, I certainly didn't do it to "thwart" Carl. I honestly don't know which candidates were helped or hurt by posting the letters. I did it because I like it when people read my blog. I did it because it said on OyC'mon that Carl asked me to post his reply (even though I've never found an email) and it made sense to print Bob's letter for context. It was already in the newspaper, for pete's sake, which presumably has a bit more of a reach than ORCSDcleanslate. ORCSDcleanslate was the first and maybe the only place you could read Bob's reply to Carl's reply. Megan, you have my permission to forward it around.
You know, if you're going to be indignant because "the Barth letter is being shared widely in an apparent attempt to thwart Carl from being elected" the previous sentence of your endorsement of Carl probably shouldn't be "Both letters are attached below."
As for the board not determining curricula, it doesn't until it does. There're plenty of examples in this country of school boards requiring schools "teach the controversy" or whatever the latest plan is to get hoo-ha taught in biology class. Something similar went on in the NH State House last session as the Tea Party folks ran amok. So of course it's a legitimate question whether a candidate is OK with this sort of thing. It's a legitimate question for Megan, whether or not her father went to Fordham (which anyway is a great school, and not a hotbed of the latest in Intelligent Design hooey).
The fact that a board member would need a majority of the board to do this sort of thing is not a reason not to ask the question. It's a reason to ask the question of all board members and all candidates. Are we going to stop asking our congressmen their views too?
All Megan could muster about Kenny is we don't need another doctor. Yes, all that experience treating students and their families, learning about the problems of the community one patient at a time -- what good is that? And after thirteen years at Oyster River schools his daughter just graduated, so Kenny has no skin in the game, right? And the fact that he's been to more school board meetings than half the serving board while Carl just went to his first regular board meeting tonight -- never mind.
It occurs to me the seemingly-irrational doctor thing may be about football. With all those doctors and doctor spouses on the board, football might be a harder sell. Megan herself appeared to be waffling at the meeting between Krista's motion for full approval and the more modest motion that passed. It was pretty obviously too soon to approve, but maybe Megan and Krista were thinking it has a better chance now than after the election.
I'm not sure what slanderous and libelous attacks Megan is referring to. I've pretty much laid off her because I like her and she hasn't been running for anything since I've started paying attention. But she's stepped into the fray now, so it's probably worth reminding everyone that she was the third amigo with Brackett and Kach. To avoid libel, I'll just reprint a page from the court documents.
Now that I reread this, I see Megan did not always hold the view that "an individual member's power rests with a quorum of the Board voting in a scheduled meeting."