Letter: Peter Demling Owes The Public An Apology
The following letter was sent to Regional School Committee member Peter Demling on May 10, 2023 with copies to the Regional School Committee.
On April 25 you accused the ARMS educators of creating a “toxic rumor mill” and sowing dissent. I assume that you have read this article from the Graphic, that provides damning evidence against the highest level of leadership in this district and reinforces the concerns raised by the ARMS educators.
When given the opportunity to support educators who are trying to protect vulnerable students, you take it as the opportunity to denigrate them. Allow me to remind you of the committee’s mission: “The academic achievement of every student learning in a system dedicated to social justice and multiculturalism”.
Given the preponderance of testimony from injured students and their families, you should be ashamed of your response. You owe the students, and the teachers who have tried to protect them, both a public apology and immediate action to hold the Superintendent and his office accountable.
Protecting our students is the job you were elected to do. If you can’t do that, you should resign immediately.
Laura Hunter is a parent of a 7th and a 8th grader at ARMS and the spouse of a long-time ARMS educator.
4 thoughts on “Letter: Peter Demling Owes The Public An Apology”
Sing it, sister! Thank you for speaking up for the teachers. And for all of us parents of trans kids who are raising our kids with empathy and hope, assuming their school will have their back. Do the right thing, Peter. Apologize and step down.
Now that this Graphic article has brought many more disturbing details to light, the comments by Peter Demling and Mike Morris on April 25th are particularly troubling. How could Mike say on April 25th that he had no firsthand knowledge of the many complaints? And how could Demling infer that middle school staff were lying? Despicable.
School Committee Member Ethics, Policy BCA on he ARPS website states that all members shall:
“-Endeavor to establish sound, clearly defined policies which will direct and support the administration/staff.
-Recognize and support the administrative chain of command and refuse to act on complaints as an individual outside the administration.
-Give the Superintendent full responsibility for discharging his/her professional duties and hold him/her responsible for acceptable results.
-Refer all complaints to the administrative staff for solution and only discuss them at Committee meetings if such solutions fail.”
Did Mr. Demling violate these policies? Regardless, his belittling of the educators, and students who are on the front lines every day, I believe his comments violate one or more of these policies.
Similar to the actions he took against Ms. Shiao, someone should look into the means of accountability for his behavior that violates his own committee’s policy. In addition, he should apologize for violating school policy and harming local educators and families. Although he may not have intentionally violated the policy at the time, everyone makes mistakes, and the right thing to do is take accountability.
In that vein, if he believes “unverified claims” are problematic, as he said at past meetings, then he should also consider apologizing for the misleading information the committee has sent out regarding educator salaries, and living wages.
Let’s bridge divisions in our community by apologizing when we make mistakes or inappropriate statements, I respect Mr. Demling, and hope he will consider limiting his personal attacks on our educators and students.