Letter Supporting Ousted Teacher Janice Donahue Surfaces
Names were redacted to protect the identity of Noyes Elementary School students.
The 2011-12 school year officially ended in Sudbury on Friday, but the saga of former first-grade Noyes Elementary School teacher Janice Donahue continues.
A letter written by two Noyes parents whose child had Donahue as a teacher fully supports the 29-year educator, who lost her job over accusations of breaking up a fight of two students over a seat in late April.
The letter was addressed to Dr. Robert Mealey, president of SEA, Janice Donahue, Prinicipal Annette Doyle and Sudbury Public Schools Committee Chair Richard Robison.
In the letter, the parents, whose names were redacted to protect the identity of their child, describe Donahue as "nothing short of an exemplary teacher."
"After struggling in Kindergarten with issues like not paying attention, being competitive, and sometimes spontaneously acting out, he was placed in Janice’s classroom because she represented an effective balance between structure and loving personal attention," the letter states. "And that is exactly what he got this year from Janice."
Sudbury Public Schools Committee has been under fire for the past seven weeks from parents who have demanded answers as to why Donahue lost her job. Both Superintendent Anne Wilson and Robison have stated repeatedly during Committee meetings that by law they cannot discuss matters related to personnel or students.
Parents have swarmed the last three Committee meetings voicing their displeasure over a lack of communication in relation to the incident leading up to Donahue's dismissal, and last week signed a petition asking the Committee to remove Wilson as superintendent.
In the letter from the Noyes parents, Assistant Principal Kristin Moffat called the incident between the two students "no big deal" and just involved a scuffle over seats in class.
Wilson has stated in a prior release that misinformation has been reported but did not go into specifics other than stating "no SPS staff member has been or will be disciplined for appropriately intervening in the case of a student fight."
" ... the allegations are so incongruent with what we have experienced with Janice’s personality and capabilities, not to mention heard from numerous other parents in and out of this particular classroom, that indeed we find it hard, if not
impossible, to believe that she has acted in any way worthy of the swift removal from the classroom," the parents wrote at the end of their letter.
Robison said earlier this month that Wilson had hired outside counsel. Donahue has not spoken publicly about her dismissal since May 23, the day her teaching career came to a sudden end.
The SPS Committee next meets on Wednesday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Senior Center. It will be the first meeting of the 2012-13 school year.