After weeks of asking questions and getting no answers, parents of students from Noyes Elementary School have started a petition for the removal of Sudbury Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Anne Wilson.
During the past two SPS Committee meetings, dozens of parents attended to be heard over the dismissal of first-grade teacher Janice Donahue.
But despite continued expressions of frustration and anger, those questions have still gone unanswered. But both Wilson and Committee Chair Rich Robison have repeatedly said they can't comment on personnel matters. Robison also confirmed counsel had been hired. For further information on the hired counsel, click on the pdf.
Parent Christine Hogan started the petition Monday night and plans to submit the petition to the SPS Committee.
"We feel that there has been little to no improvement in the situation for the children involved, and we as parents still feel that our requests for information are only being responded to reactively," Hogan told Sudbury Patch in an email. "We would have expected a more proactive response from the administration Dr. Wilson oversees. A consistent message from the beginning would have helped us as parents guide our children through this difficult time."
The petition reads:
Dear Sudbury Taxpayers
As parents in the Peter Noyes and Sudbury school community, we have been stunned and dismayed by the events of the last couple of months. First year superintendent, Dr. Anne Wilson, has mismanaged a situation that quickly and needlessly escalated into a full-blown crisis within our excellent school system.
1) A treasured teacher with nearly 30 years’ experience was abruptly removed from her classroom and ultimately stripped of her respected reputation and retirement benefits over questionable charges.
2) School officials repeatedly said they were not allowed to speak on matters of critical importance to students. Dr. Wilson manages these school officials and sets policy on communications.
3) Children were interviewed individually by school officials without their parents’ knowledge, even while the parents were physically in the school.
4) Dr. Wilson was unresponsive to a letter from the parents of students directly affected by the removal of a teacher until it was politically unavoidable. At the meeting that ultimately was held, she presented updates to the parents about curriculum and classroom activities that were eventually proven untrue.
5) Dr. Wilson refuses to answer taxpayer questions about expensive outside counsel she has hired to defend her actions, rather than skillfully secure a quick and peaceful solution that benefits Sudbury citizens and children. While some classrooms in town are oversized, she feels comfortable spending school funds on an action that is questionable, at best.
6) Teachers have expressed both in conversations and at the previous two School Committee meetings that they do not have a clear sense of the discipline and safety policy at the schools now. If a teacher can be removed for breaking up a fight, how reassured can any of us feel about our children's safety?
7) Dr.Wilson appears to lack empathy for parents’ concerns about their children‘s educational environment; lacks respect for parents and students by neglecting to inform parents or seek their consent to interview children in matters serious enough to merit the removal of a teacher; lacks adequate knowledge of curriculum and child-development to handle a smooth classroom transition; lacks the communications expertise to understand how to quickly and effectively communicate with constituents; and lacks the acumen to thoughtfully apply sound judgment when diffusing a politically difficult situation.
Please join us in expressing reservations about Dr. Wilson's competence as Superintendent and respectfully request that the Sudbury Public School Committee reconsider her ongoing tenure in this position.
An attempt to reach Wilson for comment was unsuccessful.
The SPS Committee next meets Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.