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DONAHUE EXCLUSIVE: The Ugly Truth Behind Her Dismissal — Part 1

The former longtime Noyes Elementary School teacher opens up about the day her career ended, and how the superintendent refuses to give a reason why.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of a two-part series examining the sudden end to Janice Donahue's teaching career. Superintendent Dr. Anne Wilson, the Sudbury Public Schools Committee, and Principal Annette Doyle have refused comment, citing legal issues.)

Teachers working in the Sudbury Public Schools system should take this news as a warning. Superintendent Dr. Anne Wilson set a precedent in May. No matter your tenure, no matter your success, no matter your reputation, she could end your career and will never tell you why.

To this day, Janice Donahue, the first-grade teacher who had taught for 25 years, was dismissed on May 8, and hasn't been told the reason she was put on administrative leave. In fact, Wilson has refused to address the issue with Donahue in-person, Donahue says.

But after weeks of negotiations between Elizabeth Valerio, the attorney hired by Wilson, and Donahue's lawyer, the beloved teacher and 1999 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year nominee agreed to an undisclosed severance settlement, thus ending her career.

Now, Donahue says it's time to tell the truth.

"I loved my job," Donahue told Sudbury Patch in an exclusive interview at her Southborough home. "It was not my time to retire. I dedicated my life to my family and to teaching children and taking pride in their learning. Often, I was in my classroom at 8 in the evening preparing for the next day. To think that this dedication was not valued breaks my heart."

FRICTION WITH THE PRINCIPAL

Donahue says her relationship with Noyes Principal Annette Doyle was strained, thanks to an issue that began last year.

According to Donahue, Doyle one day asked her to not place a student in a particular class when the first-grade teachers met to arrange the second-grade classes.

Donahue did not place the student. But another teacher did.

"When the initial list (not the final list for placement) was given to the principal for administrative input, the principal placed a letter of reprimand in my personal file," Donahue said, "stating I disobeyed her direct command, claiming I was insubordinate."

Donahue explained several meetings were needed to finalize the list, and that Doyle could have changed the child's placement.

The letter of reprimand shocked Donahue, who said in her 31-year career she never received such a letter.

"The contents of the letter went beyond the issue of where a child was placed for second grade," she said while showing Sudbury Patch the documentation. "Rather, the letter contained verbal assaults on my character, defamatory statements and questioned my competency."

Doyle would go on to tell Donahue, with her union representative present, that she would no longer teach first grade for Sudbury Public Schools.

But Donahue refused to sit and take it; ahw sought permanent removal of the letter by filing a grievance.

"The principal could not substantiate any of the allegations," Donahue said. "The superintendent (Wilson) had the letter removed but allowed the principal to write something called a 'letter of warning' to replace the original."

Prior to that day, Donahue felt she had a good relationship with her administrators. She had spent the past 11 years working for Doyle without incident. And after 31 years without a single issue in terms of performance evaluations, what had changed?

"I have dedicated my life to my family and the vocation of teaching," she said. "For anyone to degrade my life's vocation has been hurtful beyond words."

MAY 4, 2012

The day started out like any other day for Donahue.

At 1:35 p.m., Donahue walked her 21 first-graders to music class. As they entered, three boys rushed into Michael Gorgone's room toward the tiered risers to sit on the corner of the bottom 7-inch bench. According to Donahue, this was a preferred seat among students.

As the boys scurried toward the bench, a short scuffled ensued; something Wilson has said repeatedly in written statements and during SPS Committee meetings had no influence on Donahue's dismissal.

"As I rushed to intervene, one boy pushed another to the floor, as is stated by the students in the interviews held by the principal and assistant principal," Donahue explained while showing Sudbury Patch the documented interviews. "All six students tell essentially the same story about who pushed whom."

Donahue said as further proof, when interviewed by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, the parents of the child who was pushed also stated that "their son does not seem affected by it at all and has moved past it."

But Wilson had not moved past the incident, as she filed a 51A report on May 22 against Donahue. In the report, Wilson stated "the child felt it was the other student who pushed him to the floor."

"Since the superintendent herself supported the students and my recollection of the events, I cannot comprehend why the superintendent and principal did not reinstate me immediately after the interviews were completed," Donahue said. "Instead, they chose to continue down a path where witnesses' statements did not support the administration's allegations which ultimately led to my dismissal.

"Why would the administration choose to put those students through such an ordeal, only to ignore the statements they ultimately gave? I just cannot understand it."

Donahue said one parent even wrote an affidavit and had it notarized stating her son had been involved but that it was a child-on-child incident.

"I helped the fallen boy up and made sure that everyone was safe and ready for music class," she added.

Meanwhile, Gorgone was on the opposite side of the room, refusing to get involved.

"This was 30 seconds in a first-grade teacher's day. My back was to the music teacher. Never once did he ask me or the children about the situation," Donahue said. "No child cried or complained and no one went to the school nurse because no one was hurt. If the music teacher had been concerned, he did not show it, never speaking to the children or seeing to their welfare, neither that day nor over the weekend that followed."

After she restored the peace, Donahue went back to her classroom to prepare for Monday's school day. Those same boys played soccer together later in the day during recess, worked on a math project and listened to a story. The incident in the music room was forgotten by all.

Or so it seemed.

"Imagine my shock and surprise when I was called into the principal's office to be put on administrative leave because the music teacher had reported the incident to the principal the following week," Donahue said, "and that I was being accused of having pushed one of the boys in the scuffle."

Did she have a chance to explain her side of the story? Donahue says no. After meeting with Doyle on May 8 at Noyes for about 10 minutes, she hadn't been told what the problem was and was not prepared for "the verbal assault that followed."

"She said I was going to be put on administrative leave and she would conduct an investigation," Donahue said. "According to the written testimony of the students interviewed about it, conducted May 7 and 9, I should have been told to return to the classroom and that all was well because their statements backed up mine. Instead, I was subjected to a constant barrage of misinformation and suggestions that I resign by the superintendent's very aggressive lawyer."

Wilson, to this day, hasn't met with Donahue to discuss the incident ... Valerio led the meeting.

"The superintendent never met with me to discuss the incident," Donahue said. "People who don't even know me (the superintendent and the SPS Committee) were comfortable having my good name dragged through the mud without any attempt to interact with me or hear what actually happened. One would think after 31 years of teaching, the school committee or the superintendent would have given me that courtesy."

THREATS OF MORE 51A REPORTS

The news of the 51A filed to DCF (Department of Children and Families) came as a surprise to Donahue. One of her sons who lives in California read the news on Sudbury Patch and immediately called her.

"It was filed 15 days after I was put on administrative leave and the day before what I thought was going to be a meeting with the superintendent," Donahue said, showing Sudbury Patch the document. "I went to the Department of Children and Families to get a copy of the 51A which was filed by the superintendent herself."

According to masslegislature.gov, a mandated reporter has 48 hours to file a written report with the department detailing the suspected abuse or neglect. Also, whoever knowingly and willfully files a frivolous report of child abuse or neglect under this section shall be punished by:

  • A fine of not more than $2,000 for the first offense
  • Imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than six months and a fine of not more than $2,000 for the second offense
  • Imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years and a fine of not more than $2,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.

Donahue said the DCF staff member said the accusation was "screened" just three days after being called in by Wilson.

According to masslegalhelp.org, a 51A report will be "screened out" if the actions that are being reported are not considered "abuse" or "neglect" as defined by law or if the abuser is not a caretaker of the child. The report may also be screened out if the family already has an open case with DCF, or if the report is old or "frivolous."

During the meeting on May 23 with Valerio, Donahue said she was told through her union lawyer that Wilson and Valerio threatened to "create" more 51A reports if she didn't comply with their demands to resign immediately.

"I plan to report this abuse of the system to other government agents and agencies," she said, adding she has already placed a call to the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. "This does nothing to help children and families who are truly in need of their services, but is rather an abuse of the very system created to keep out children safe from harm by caregivers.

"I have to think that when the superintendent first met with her lawyer, they discussed what to do that would make this an actual case and pursued this course to frighten me. They had nothing else."

CONFLICT OF INTEREST?

Donahue said Sudbury Education Association Union President Robert Mealey appeared to have "other priorities" while representing her.

The teachers' union was, and still is as of mid-August, in the middle in contract negotiations. And Mealey, a Framingham resident, was also contemplating applying to have his son attend SPS.

Only the superintendent could grant the acceptance of his child. Both Wilson and Mealey were present at all the Donahue negotiations, he said.

"This had to be an awkward situation for him," Donahue said. "That may be why the union president signed a letter that went out to the entire school community."

Donahue said the letter was from Wilson and implied that Donahue had done something wrong.

"The union president's intent may not have been to imply that I had done something wrong ... but that was the effect," she said. "It was extremely painful to me."

Mealey has denied a conflict of interest.

"We didn’t apply until the last week of school in June," Mealey said. (My wife and I) talked about it for years. It's not like I’m special. We decided after a meeting with Framingham Public Schools to pull out on June 12, which was long after the hearings and other stuff with it. I don’t think it was a conflict of interest."

One former SPS teacher disagreed.

"No question in my mind that’s shady," said Cynthia Denessen, who taught eighth-grade English at and fifth grade at Noyes before retiring early in 2006. "I thought so little was being done by the union. I thought he was working against her. He was trying to get a contract for the teachers. So anything to keep good rapport with the superintendent."

Donahue said she believes Mealey did not do enough to help her.

"I feel this was a runaway train that spun out of control and the union president did not try to stop it," she said. "I have never had a meeting with the superintendent or the school committee. I was given (a Massachusetts Teachers' Association) attorney. It was the duty of the union to facilitate these meetings for administration to hear both sides so that they could come to an understanding and make proper accommodations. The union president called me a few times, accompanied me to two meetings and sent emails, but I never felt completely supported."

"In my opinion, I think Bob was trying to keep good relations with the superintendent and sacrifice Janice," Denessen said. "Then to find out there was another ulterior motive to put his child in Sudbury schools ... he’s a nice person, but he's looking out for himself. Someone should not be (union) president if he can’t look out for the people he's been asked to support."

Mealey’s son has since been granted a place in a Sudbury classroom, Donahue said.

To add further insult, she was forced to clean out her classroom. Something she said was very humiliating.

"Parents and other teachers tried to help me put my things into boxes," Donahue said. "The assistant principal (Kristin Moffat) barred them from entering the room and told them that they couldn't come into the room to help. Still, the union did nothing except put a couple of sticky notes on some books.

"I felt humiliated, confused, hurt and devastated by the manner in which I was forced to leave Room 15 after being in the same room for 25 years. I asked for and was denied an opportunity to say goodbye to the children."

Donahue was also told she couldn't have contact with her own students, even after DCF sent a letter to Wilson on May 25 informing her the 51A had been screened out.

"I do not understand what basis they had to keep me from the children and the children from me as many had exhibited emotional and behavioral issues as a result of my abrupt removal from their lives," she said. "It was not just me and my family that were negatively impacted but the children of my classroom and my families. It continues to break my heart when I think about the effect this has had on all of them."

Even a request for a final walk-through of Room 15 at the end of the year was denied. Donahue was still missing a few items and wanted them returned. Despite that request, she was again denied. Instead, 31 years of books and teaching materials she had collected during her illustrious career were packed in boxes by the maintenance department and shipped to her Southborough home. They've been piled in her garage since that day.

(For part 2 of this story, check back with Sudbury Patch on Tuesday.)

(CORRECTION: A gag order was never issued by a judge. It was issued by Annette Doyle.)

Julie Miller August 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Thank you, Mr. Fucci, for this article. I am sure many have been hoping for such in town. Great job, Janice! "Do not go quietly . . ." I am just wondering how many more "Janices" are out there - a friend in the system commented to me that students are not the only ones being bullied in schools these days. Anyone up for picketing?
SkimThreePercent August 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Sudbury needs to get rid Wilson, Doyle, Mealey and Gutch ASAP to restore some semblance of normality here. My God, what a mess. Selfish, greedy, incompetent hacks; all.
Daniel Kenn August 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM
As someone who has also been abused by the system and as a result my children are suffering greatly, I can truly relate to your situation Janice. In my case the legal system, and it is a horrible hopeless feeling when you are trapped in it and there is not one thing you can do. Hang in there Janice, do not be bitter and eventually things will work out. Stay true to yourself as you are obviously an honest, caring and dedicated teacher. Best of luck. Daniel Kenn, owner Sudbury Coffee Works
joanne August 27, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Thank you Mr Fucci for a wonderful article- I have had the honor and pleasure of knowing Janice for many years. Not just as a teacher but as a friend as well. The treatment she received from Anne (Swifty) Wilson, Annette Doyle and the circus folks on the SPSC is quite frankly disgusting and very disturbing! They will "push out" a teacher with over 25 yrs experience- yet they will keep a 4th grade teacher who is verbally and emotionally abusive to her students- Many parents have written letters and complained about this teacher to Annette Doyle- yet she is still teaching!What has the administration done about the "relationships" (yes plural) going on in Peter Noyes? I am dumb founded that Bob Mealy does not see the conflict of interest! Perhaps he should look it up! The taxpayers have yet another "freebie" to pay for. Were any Sudbury students denied SPED so that his son could get into the program? @ Julie Miller- Its hard to teach children about bullying, when the administrators and SPSC are the worst bullys I have ever had the displeasure to know.
Samantha Hammel August 27, 2012 at 12:41 PM
My heart goes out to Janice and I commend her for speaking so candidly about what seems like a traumatic and humiliating experience. She clearly did not deserve this kind of treatment and Sudbury has lost a valuable asset to the community. I hope there is justice for Janice and soon!
todd faber August 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Robert I think this editorial is important for at least two reasons: 1. As a former child abuse prosecutor it is clear to me that Wilson abused the system. Her decision to pursue this course of action to benefit the agenda to remove Mrs. J is unprecedented in our community. 2. More importantly, we as a community must NOT let this go. Our school leadership has no clue who they represent. They have an over-inflated view of their own self-worth and value. Their inability to understand what their roles are and take a different course of action when it is clear that they have made mistakes has resulted in this situation being escalated to a point where we cannot recover while they remain. Last evening I had an opportunity to explain to my 11 year old the importance of taking responsibility for a mistake she made, admitting when you are wrong and then move forward in a positive fashion while learning from those mistakes. As an 11 year old SHE understood what I meant. It is sad that neither Wilson nor the school committee understand that. This is why we will be dealing with the fall out for quite some time. Like our beloved Red Sox, no matter how talented your "team" is when you have such discord between leadership and staff your performance will suffer. However, unlike the Red Sox the problems are clear: it is not the "players" who are failing to perform, it is the clearly the "manager" and her bosses. “Trading” some of our best “players” will NOT solve our problems.
Diane August 27, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Thanks for this article and some clear information - finally! It has been painful to sit thru SPS committee meetings and feel frustrated by the lack of information. Please use the second part of this article to let parents and community members know how to support Janice best. I, for one, truly cannot sit through another SPS committee meeting. If we can use the second part of the article to communicate from Janice directly, how to best support her, that would be so helpful. Janice is a talented, dedicated teacher who deserves to know how many people in this town support her and are ready to show up on her behalf.
SueChap August 27, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Mrs J's story is the saddest thing. How a few arrogant jerks can at will publicly humiliate a lifetime committed educator is beyond words. As to individual retribution, Mr. Kenn, I am with you. Anyone who questions anything about this is harmed as are their children. The bad thing about Subury's leadership (it doesn't stop at the school), is they have evolved from abusive to arrogant. As they hit the arrogance factor, their actions are more public. Hence, we see the abuses we do in the schools, 40B developments, housing plan filed on the day after Johnson Farm application, Letting Drunk Driver Town Employees Go without Arrest, Secret 10 million savings accounts while they present overrides and force elderly from their homes, and payments O'Brien and Kablack squeeze from businesses needing permits, just to name a few. This doesn't even touch the silence required if you are on a committee or they kick you off the committee for asking questions. There are so many "in the tank" for the current regime, I'm not convinced a turnaround is possible or if we are all going to witness a slow and painful downward spiral of Sudbury. Nice job Robert. Looking forward to Part 2. Wilson, Doyle, Mealy, O'Brien, Kablack, Valente need to go. I don't know much about Gutch but from what I do, she is the SPS committee ring leader, so throw her out too. Those are only the FIRST round of clean-up required to put this town on some level of respectable footing.
joanne August 27, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I also dont think I could sit through another SPSC mtg. The members disrespectful ,condesending behavior, made me sick to my stomach! Not one member of that board was interested in what the parents had to say. Not one member was concerned about the students and how they were affected by this situation! I was shocked to see one member rolling her eyes every time someone stood to speak. I do believe the SPSC , Swifty, and Annette Doyle were hoping this would quietly go away- they could not have been more wrong! Sudbury's children have lost one of the best teachers, and if things do not change within the Noyes Administration, I fear we will lose more!
UserName August 27, 2012 at 01:27 PM
This is exactly why the petition was created months back, join the 150 plus residents who have already signed it: http://www.change.org/petitions/taxpayers-of-sudbury-vote-of-no-confidence-in-dr-anne-wilson
SueChap August 27, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Wilson really needs to go. Can we sue her for breach of contract? Does anyone have her contract?
joanne August 27, 2012 at 01:57 PM
After the petition was given to the SPSC They gave Wilson a glowing review! It was pathetic!
Rob F August 27, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I am very interested in reading part 2 tomorrow. Perhaps it will contain substantive responses from Dr. Wilson and the school committee. After all, now that the judge's gag order has been lifted, a settlement has been reached, and the details have been made public, they cannot reasonably continue their course of making no comment on "ongoing personnel matters." Given that the facts as presented in this article very closely match the facts that have been presented all along and denied by Dr. Wilson and the SPSC, I am very interested to hear what they might have to say.
Patch Reader August 27, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Who is in charge here?! Do the selectmen have any oversight? I can't believe the SPSC sat by and let this happen. It's absolutely indefensible. There is nothing they could possibly say to counter any of this. They all just look completely shady, self-serving and corrupt. At the very least, rather than say "no comment" for the 100th time, perhaps the SPSC could be willing to review the events, or run an internal investigation. Why can't Doyle and Wilson be put on leave while events are reviewed the way Mrs. J was? This gives those of us with school age kids a horrible feeling sending them back to school tomorrow, especially to Noyes. It's just disgusting. Taxpayers deserve to feel confidence in our school managers. I can't decide if I feel worse for the teachers or the families going back to Noyes tomorrow. What an awful work environment.
UserName August 27, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there was ever a judge's gag order. I think the gag order was imposed by Wilson, her lawyer and the school committee calling it a personnel matter. I think they have been in complete control of the communication (or lack thereof) from day one. I agree with the above comment that they just arrogantly thought it would blow over.
SueChap August 27, 2012 at 02:59 PM
it is time those having drunk from the holy water of Sudbury Public School Committee WAKE up and realize, it's not so pure. Elections are in March, Vote the Arrogant Bums out, then Fire Swifty and Doyle, if they haven't quit by then. I suspect the teachers association will take care of Mealey via their own due process. Makes me sick each time I see Swifty pull into the parking lot with her Benz. Our elected officials endorse her arrogance. Does she think since she was assistant HR Director, she is smart enough to pull this off? It might be LEGAL what she did, but it shouldn't be tolerated. We CANNOT remain silent as a community. Faber says it appropriately above.
Rob F August 27, 2012 at 03:05 PM
I thought the same thing, but the article says "But with a judge's gag order lifted, Donahue says it's time to tell the truth."
SkimThreePercent August 27, 2012 at 03:24 PM
It just so happens that for this cycle, the Gutch and Robison seats will be up for grabs. Sudbury must do everything in it's power to ensure that Gutch is challenged and is beaten. Remember, the other trouble-makers (Beeler and McDonald) are gone having been replaced by no-name people from off the street. The no-names have no clue as to their duties and responsibilites. They are in apprenticeship status. As such, they take their cues from Gutch. Gutch goes and the ship can be turned around. Gutch stays, forget about it. Swifty Wilson and Mealey are taking full advantage of the situation. Robison is not a bad guy and is protected by his special interest as the SPED advocate so don't go hard after him. The real solution is the K-12 system. But since this will not change, Sudbury needs to replace Gutch. Then the pieces will fall in line at least until the next Gutch type figure marches into Town. It's for the children! NOT!!!
Robert Fucci (Editor) August 27, 2012 at 03:58 PM
One small correction has been made and I apologize for it. Gag order never issued by a judge.
Concerned August 27, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Finally, the truth comes out. I'm happy for Mrs. J that she got to tell her side, and I'm happy to see that the support for Doyle, Wilson and the SPSC is waning (on here, at least). Thank you Mr. Fucci! Looking forward to Part 2.
Julie Miller August 27, 2012 at 05:08 PM
"Imagine my shock and surprise when I was called into the principal's office to be put on administrative leave because the music teacher had reported the incident to the principal the following week," Donahue said, "and that I was being accused of having pushed one of the boys in the scuffle." I find this exceedingly curious, as a teacher and music specialist myself, that, Mr. Gorgone would 1) highlight to his administrator his own ineptitude at having not developed entrance and exit routines for the students under his charge when in his classroom - and that apparently - he had allowed a "hot point" for student contention to remain "unaddressed" in allowing students to race for a favorite spot and 2) that such a report would occur days later, and not within the hour. Mrs. Donahue had the professionalism to step in and make up for his inattentiveness by ensuring the safety of her students.
M.T. Pockets August 27, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Most in a position of power in this town abuse it ,,, the ones that suffer are the ones who have put in 30 - 40 years or more doing whats best for the town ... and the walk in's all full of themselves who try and change something that isn't broke .. and of course the politics get in the way ...Thats the very reason why we should vote to make changes with anyone with too much power or influence and the voting should take place every 3 years and all should be a resident of Sudbury . I knew this teacher and found her to be a great teacher and loved what she did ..
Vickif August 27, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I am no longer a resident of Sudbury, but did grow up there, and my parents are still in town... Ms Donahue is unfortunately not the first or last person to be victimized by greed, power-mongering, and "the system". What i do suggest is that Sudbury residents try to encourage a former or retired teacher to run for the School committee - s/he will have experience not only in the subject matter, but will have already learned the skill of "herding cats" - which is what it takes to run that committee! Good luck!
Patricia Guthy August 27, 2012 at 11:01 PM
The issue with the School Committee is the same issue we suffer from the long serving Selectmen , and for that matter all of the elected officials in this town.....the issue is the incumbents are in their positions too long. Rich Robison maybe "not be a bad guy" but he has been in office way too long (there are others in this town who would advocate for the Special Needs Students). I believe it is 12 years. There needs to be term limits. This cavet would encourage wider participation in local government by not establishing dynasties which discourages citizens from running to unseat an incumbent.
kdroop August 27, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Quality education is job one in towns like Sudbury. Our children deserve the best teachers and support within the system. Sudbury needs to focus on continuing to provide this. Politics and personnel issues like this detract from that. Mrs. J. Donahue is a quality teacher who places a premium on that. She deserved better.
SkimThreePercent August 27, 2012 at 11:43 PM
In Massachusetts, when it is said of a person that "he's not a bad guy", if you are that guy, don't get too giddy, the expression is colloquial and not meant to bring high praise to the aforementioned individual. In this context, when we say "Rich is not a bad guy" you would ask yourself, wow, if he's not a bad guy, what dare I ask are his associates to be characterized as, I'm almost afraid to ask!!!??? Term limits might help though. I agree.
Scott Nassa August 28, 2012 at 12:05 AM
There are certainly cases when a school committee must stand by their superintendent, that being said this is not one of them. From the Janice Donahue firing to children being questioned without their parents knowledge, this thing is a mess and continues to become a bigger mess week by week. I have spoken with Anne Wilson in the past and she seemed like a nice person. That being said her actions since her tenure in Sudbury began would suggest that she is not a very good superintendent. Sudbury keep in mind that her contract is up after this year. I would start asking members of our school committee if they intend to renew it. That would be a great question for the candidates in next years SPS election. As a taxpayer and a parent I wish Anne Wilson the best in her future endeavors but I certainly don't want her leading the schools that my kids are in. If part two is anything like part one of this story I think we may want to consider an early termination.
a concerned citizen August 28, 2012 at 02:00 PM
what a superb idea!
Brenda starrr September 01, 2012 at 01:08 AM
It is horrifying that a human being would disclose private information in a public forum about an innocent child's leaning needs. It makes NO difference what you think of the parent. As a person who has devoted my life to caring for children and maintaining the confidentiality that is not only mandated, but moral, I am appalled. Talk about decency, bullying, and values... ! How can any decent human being discuss the very confidential special needs status of a child? I once considered Sudbury to be comparable to my own town. I can see that I was wrong. Who knew that people could be so ugly in such a pretty town? In my career, as well as in my role as a parent, I have seen and heard many questionable accusations being hurled about on the soccer sidelines and in the town paper. This one wins the prize. Shame!
anonymous October 22, 2012 at 11:21 PM
This story makes me so mad. I was in Mrs. Donahue's class 20 years ago and she was one of my favorite elementary school teachers. I would never believe that she could have done anything to hurt a child. Gosh.. I think we even used to get into small brushes over which bleacher to sit in during music class (except the top bench was the best back then). I hate to think that the leadership of Noyes seems to have degraded to such an extent that something like this would get so out of hand and such a skilled, caring, and experienced teacher would seemingly get dragged through the dirt because of it. Thank you Mrs. Donahue for being an awesome 1st grade teacher! 20 years later I still appreciate you teaching me how to read and all the other good stuff we learned in 1st grade. I am so sorry that this has happened.

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