Killingly Board of Education Chair Responds

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To the Editor:                               

I am very confused by yesterday’s proceedings at the state BOE meeting. I had met with attorney Michael McKeon at his request along with Superintendent Angeli, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Nash Ditzel, Vice board chair Kelly Martin, and board attorney Deborah Stevenson. At this meeting we were all treated with respect and courtesy by Attorney McKeon and the other state representatives at that meeting. I answered all of their questions truthfully and to the best of my ability. I even asked another attendee for help with an unrelated student matter and was given helpful advice. As far as we knew, this investigation, although we suspected that it might not go in our favor, was in the hands of a professional and would be an unbiased search for facts.

Imagine my surprise in hearing that the determination was that I had gone from a father and grandfather, someone who was investigated thoroughly and given a Top Secret special intelligence clearance by the US government, and a businessman with a reputation for professionalism and honesty, to a bold faced liar out to deny much needed mental health care to the students in the Killingly schools, including the children of other board members, my own great nephews and two of my grandchildren. I and five of my fellow board members are evidently modern day Ebenezer Scrooges, denying much needed help to our students for some nefarious reasons unknown to anyone. Because of these outrageous statements by an agent of this state government, our characters, honesty, and reputations have been irreparably damaged without one shred of evidence that any of it is actually true.

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I stand by every statement that I have made in regards to my actions and the board’s actions during this entire process and I defy anyone to prove me a liar about any of it. Let’s discuss an actual lie. The lie that this entire process wasn’t tainted from the beginning with a predetermined outcome and that it’s goal is to reverse a legal vote by duly elected board of education members in the town of Killingly. A small group of very vocal parents, their attorney, and Mr. McKeon are trying to disenfranchise the voters of the town of Killingly, make no mistake about that.

They are trying to “undo” a lawful, valid, bipartisan vote by the full Board of Education to reject the implementation of a School Based Health Clinic at the Killingly schools. This was obvious from the testimony of the several parents, their attorney, and others at the State Board of Education meeting. Every single one of them, without exception, voiced their discontent with the Killingly Board of Education’s rejection of the clinic. Their real goal is to circumvent that lawful vote by having the State Board of Education “force corrective action” (their words) on the Killingly Board of Education – to “correct” the Board’s action in rejecting the clinic.

The lie is that this entire quest is about anything other than the “forced” reinstatement of a School Based Health Clinic. The facts reveal the provable truth that the Killingly Board of Education has, before and after that vote, implemented the educational interests of the state, and the well being and mental health of the students, by a variety of means, and will continue to do so, regardless of the State Board of Education’s decision.

That is the actual lie here, and it’s a rather rotund, obvious one. I won’t stand by and be lied about, my fellow board members smeared and defamed. Every person on the board, for this clinic or against it has the best interests of the students, parents, and staff of the Killingly schools in mind. We put in hundreds of hours of uncompensated time, we volunteered for this, campaigned for it, and we did not do it to hurt our students or families. I am absolutely outraged by the wild claims made today and I will not sit by and let it go unchallenged. I am asking for an apology and a retraction from Attorney McKeon. 

Notwithstanding, of course, as always, I plan on cooperating fully with the state Board of Education, the Commissioner of Education, and their designates on this matter. In fact I relish the opportunity to set the record straight.”

Normand R. Ferron, Chair
Killingly Board of Education