Monday, January 13, 2014

School Committee Chair Reacts


As followers of The O’Zone are no doubt aware, a controversy recently erupted over comments that appeared related to a post parodying the Chairman of the Southbridge School Committee.

Therefore, it was with no small amount of interest that I opened an email from the Chairman this morning. Insofar as she chose to contact me using her School Department provided email, the initial message, as well as the ensuing exchange, is a matter of public record.

With that in mind I am reproducing the conversation below without additional comment other than to say that I have received no additional correspondence as of the time of this posting. (I do, however, reserve the right to respond to reader comments.) 

From: Lauren McLoughlin  Sent: Mon, Jan 13, 2014 10:31 AM
Good morning Mr. O'Brien,
I attempted to call you earlier this morning but the number that is published in the phone book is not working [redacted].  I was wondering if there is another number I could use to contact you or if you would be so kind as to call me at [redacted].  
Thank you,
Lauren McLoughlin

From: Ken O'Brien    Sent: Mon, Jan 13, 2014 11:05 AM
Dear Ms. McLoughlin:
I would prefer that anything you might have to say to me be committed to writing and be sent to me via email at this address.
Ken O'Brien

From: Lauren McLoughlin   Sent: Mon, Jan 13, 2014 11:11 AM
I have never met you before and would prefer to meet with you face to face.
Lauren

From: Ken O'Brien    Sent: Mon, Jan 13, 2014 11:25 AM
Dear Ms. McLoughlin:
I would rather you just told me what it is you want to say and or discuss.
Ken O'Brien

From: Lauren McLoughlin    Sent: Mon, Jan 13, 2014 12:15 PM
Mr. O'Brien,
Please call me Lauren.
I do not have a specific topic in mind.  I am hoping to meet with you to establish a relationship that would be mutually beneficial to each of us in our respective roles.  How can the school committee provide the community information it is seeking in a fair and balanced way without violating rules of confidentiality?  
Admittedly, I do not visit your site on a regular basis  but someone close to me shared some recent postings that have been made regarding a former employee.  Subsequent postings on that blog entry deteriorated into a discussion about my physical appearance.  While I am not naïve enough to believe it is possible eradicate all of the negativity in our community, I do think chronically negative messages are one barrier that, if eradicated, will make a difference over time.   I think we can and should set an example for younger generations who are looking for guidance.
It goes without saying that I support free speech.  I believe your blog can be a useful vehicle for information and facts and would like to explore how that can happen.   I am sure you have heard both positive and negative things about me.  I would like you to judge for yourself and provide me with an opportunity to do the same.
I am willing to meet in a public place of your choosing at a time that is convenient for us both.
Best regards,
Lauren

From: Ken O'Brien    Sent: Mon, Jan 13, 2014 12:50 PM
Dear Ms. McLoughlin:
I find it interesting that you would want to meet with me personally at this time.
You expressed no such interest when I publicly endorsed your candidacy for School Committee on The O’Zone. I have subsequently taken a great deal of heat for that decision.
You indicate a desire to see The O’Zone serve as a vehicle for overcoming negativity in the community as well as providing information to combat unfounded or erroneous reporting or rumors.
As you will notice on The O’Zone’s masthead, I invite anyone to “Contribute an Article”. That invitation extends to you as well. I look forward to your first submission.
Ken O’Brien

19 comments:

  1. I think she wants to punch you in the face, Watch out because she carrys alot of weight in this town and can have your blog licence revoked and you banished from this town! If i were you Id send her a food basket with flowers then maybe she will have mercy on your poor sole....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unlike the post referenced, this is not a humor or parody entry. Therefore please do not refer to the weight that she carries.
      Thank you.

      Delete
    2. Southbridge Public Schools is considering a GED program. Perhaps Watch Out would be interested in working on spelling and the correct use of words that sound the same but have very different meanings.

      Delete
  2. Hey Lauren, transparency sucks doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find it incredibly amusing that a person writing in anonymously is preaching about transparency.

      Delete
  3. I believe that she will write an article and it will make you all embarassd. Just because she didnt answer you it doesn't mean no.

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    Replies
    1. I genuinely hope that she will write an article that addresses the issues that our school system must confront with concrete indications of how she plans to do so.

      Delete
  4. As someone that feels our school system is too far gone and that it should be dissolved and absorbed by either the Tantasqua or Dudley Charlon District, I do not follow School Committee issues, but I'd like to weigh in on this subject briefly.

    It has been my experience that when an advessary needs to put down their opponents with commentary about the advessaries appearance, more often than not their position is very weak.

    Personally I did not vote for the current Chair because Clark liked her and I think he was a quintessential
    example of a brash bureaucratic bully. I felt that the choice of a quasi fascist
    Is best avoided,

    Not only was Roma not built in a day, but once fallen it took ten times longer to recover-almost a thousand years! Our school system went to hell in less than a half generation. I think it might have to do with the vast majority of teachers not being able to speak the language of the majority of students. If Notre Dame and Sacred Heart taught their students in English a century ago, those schools would have sucked too. They taught in French, and taught the children the English language
    as well, but they taught it as a language class while the other subjects were taught in French. It wasn't until the 30's that classes were taught in English.

    Ooops, I didn't mean to fix the whole problem- I just don't think the issue is the School Committe or the Administration. It is the students fault, either. And please don't blame the bus drivers.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. spell much? For someone ragging on the school system, the teachers who supposedly don't speak the language of the students, or picking on this woman, Ms. McLoughlin because she doesn't fit your weight expectations, you come off sounding a bit uneducated… well, very uneducated. Grow up.

      Delete
  5. "Dear Ms. McLoughlin:
    I find it interesting that you would want to meet with me personally at this time.
    You expressed no such interest when I publicly endorsed your candidacy for School Committee on The O’Zone."

    The fact that she responded to you at all is commendable on her part. She owes nothing to a small blog, and as such you should be flattered. Most people who, along with others, allow criticism like a child regarding a persons weight, wouldn't get the time of day. She owes you nothing and I hope she stops engaging with you. It's a no win situation for her. You can try but won't succeed at bullying her into engaging with you. Life doesn't work that way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you are missing the point. Mr. O'Brien doesn't work for Mrs. McLoughlin, she works for him and all the other voters of this town.
      Also, Mr. O'Brien puts his name out there - unlike you. (I won't because I have children in the system and I fear for retaliation).
      As regards the weight issue, Mr. O'Brien explained that at length. You may not agree, but it hardly constitutes an excuse for Mrs. McLoughlin to dodge his invitation.
      In closing I strongly suspect that you are one of Mrs. McLoughlin's cronies and you are trying to create an excuse for her backing out of Mr. O'Brien's invitation. I don't think she has any ideas on how to improve the school system and she is looking to people like you to give her a way out.

      Delete
    2. I agree with Anon 7:31. What did Loren plan to say to Mr. O'Brien privately to change his views that she can't say publicly?
      If she thinks she is so persuasive why not share it with everyone?

      Delete
  6. Mrs. McLoughlin clearly thinks that informing the citizens of the personal attacks on employees, detailing the six-figure wasted tax dollars, and highlighting the shear lack of decency exhibited by this school committee and administration demonstrates negativism. Mrs. McLoughlin is misinterpreting the truth as negativism.

    Kudos to the "small blogs" that keep the "truth" front and center. Shame on those that would have the "small" people silenced.

    ReplyDelete
  7. She doesn't owe this stupid site anything. Who does O'Brien think he is, Walter Cronkite? She works for all of us, and she owes him--NOTHING! He is an opinionated, pig-headed, one-sided jerk, with no press credentials or any credentials in general. I suspect he's most of the ANON's agreeing with himself (which he will no doubt deny). You're all a bunch of idiots for the most part and the self proclaimed "leader" of your gang is a loon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time to hit "the reset button!" And what would Lady Lauren say about being "Anonymous" anyway? Are you trying to get into our "Loon" group? Is our group called the "wards," the "rafts," or what?

      Delete
  8. I just saw the chairwomans pity me speech and all that I can say is that she has set the cause of feminism back 50 years. Imagine if a man had done that.

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  9. This is off the subject of the original article, and possibly be termed hearsay, but it was overheard by several people at a local business, so there must be some truth to it. So here it is. A school committee member, discussing the problems of the school system, (again, this was overheard in a public place) stated that our schools problems aren't the students, nor parents, or administration at all levels, but the teachers of this system. The person concluded their comments by stating that they will be going after the teachers. No wonder, from I've been hearing throughout town, teachers are walking on eggshells and looking over their shoulder thinking they will be the next one on the chopping block. We have seen many already. If I had children entering the Southbridge School System, I would definitely decide upon school choice. I know many teachers throughout the system and see hard working people who feel unappreciated.
    My last question to the Superintendent, as well as the school committee that want to, and have let many teachers go, why are many Southbridge teachers get hired almost immediately at other districts for more money, better benefits and appreciation?
    Educators that left have made the statement " I really miss the kids from Southbridge, but not all the bs"

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ken you are a bitter old man who couldn't get a woman. I'm willing to bet you are in the first stages of dementia.

    ReplyDelete

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