Friday, November 14, 2014

The Teen And The Trolls

Ken O’Brien

Once upon a time a brave young girl was troubled by events at her school.

Determined to make things better she screwed up her courage. She took her issues to the local committee in charge of her school to lodge her complaint. However, she was unaware that it was the policy of the committee not to allow any public criticism of their personnel. The trolls who viewed it as their mission to keep things hidden from the public quickly cut her off.

Crestfallen, the young girl returned to her seat. Fortunately, she had said just enough to allow the discerning public to ascertain the truth she sought to reveal. Also, she had learned a valuable lesson about trying to deal with problems in an open and forthright manner in her little village.

One of the trolls, however, could not refrain from further comment. Employing what, to his twisted mind, passed for sardonic wit, he leveled a crude assault on a fellow committee member. In so doing he revealed his true colors as a venal and small-minded guttersnipe.


  1. She should go make her comments at the next Town Council meeting. They have no such policy and it is not the law. Let the people know.

  2. Young Ms. McNeill should write up her comments and post them on this blog!!!

  3. The 'transparency" gang wants silence and secrets! Hush little girl. Is this the same Brent Abrahamson that bashed the Jovan school committee for not allowing him to speak at meeting? He is a perfect partner for McLoughlin and Donovan. Hypocrites !

    There must have been some truth to this whistle blower's story. One of the two people she named during her beat down has been "transferred" to the elementary schools. This was done without the prior knowledge of principals, the SOLE hiring and firing authority of personnel under the Ed Reform Act of 1993. So Gardner used an end run and transferred her. I'm sure with the order coming from McLoughlin. McLoughlin has no use for the laws or policies that govern our schools.

    This school committee owes this student a giant apology.

    I am so sick of these bullies, they are despicable.

    1. Long ago I pointed out that this clown was on both sides of every issue. See Does Anybody Take This Guy Seriously?

  4. Slow Down and Think about itNovember 15, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Does anyone else think that it is weird that :

    Student reps are chosen or approved by the school principal as are fill in student reps and that
    coincidently, no student rep before has ever gone to the podium at citizens forum.

    Further that a lynch mob is forming over someone laughing without knowing the details or subject matter of said private conversation but rather only the perception of that conversation based on this students comment. Who also stated she supports that prinicipal - note card given to her.

    There are always two sides to a story but it seems that only one side is using the court of public opinion to advance their side.

    use caution and proceed with due diligence as things may not be what they appear.

    1. Your remarks only exist in the chamber of silence fostered by this committee. Let's open up the process and hear both sides. As of now the only advantage you have is implying greater knowledge of the facts based upon enforced silence.

    2. Lynch mob? More drama. This school committee has made their beds and now must lay in them.
      They are failing to recognize the disgust, anger, and in some cases, the hatred people are feeling towards these evil people.
      I watch in ire when I see these same evil individuals accepting the Holy sacrament at Mass.
      Sad human beings.

  5. Bullies Hiring BulliesNovember 16, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    What has happened to our school system and school committee over the last two years? Since Lauren McLoughlin and Kara Donovan, both of whom I voted, we have witnessed extreme bullying by all three of the four superintendents who have been in charge. With the exception of interim superintendent Mr. Wiggin, the other three: Ely, Nembirkow and Gardner, have mistreated staff in epic proportion.

    Ely treated subordinates to a level that required an extensive, costly investigation. He resigned upon completion of the investigation; a report that has never been made available to the public. Even though we paid for it, the school committee refuses to release it.

    Mr. Wiggin came next and was a band aid for an amputation. He held things together as best he could, but the district continued to spiral downward.

    The the school committee hired Mr. Nembirkow who reigned with fear and intimidation. Countless employees put on paid administrative leave, many wrongful terminations, hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted on lawyers, unemployment, paid leaves - in general - needless, stupid wasting of times ans money. With the continued downward spiral under his watch, he has apparently resigned from his posh "mentoring" post for now-superintendent Gardner. Although the public has never been informed that he has left the district's employ.

    Now the employees, and apparently our students, are maligned by Ms. Gardner. Her accusers are many and there is a current investigation into her conduct towards key personnel at the middle/high school. More wasted time and money.

    It's extremely interesting that with the exception of Ely, who was initially hired prior to McLoughlin and Donovan joining the committee (although they both voted to extend his contract by two years; even though they were committee members for less than three days), each subsequent superintendent was hired without any selection process. No job posting, no pool of candidates reviewed, no search committee, no hiring norms.

    Lauren and Kara promised full transparency when they ran for office. They have both been huge disappointments. They have allowed these bullies to hurt employee after employee. Now they are hiding behind some BS policy to beat down a child at the "dais." To what levels will these two power hungry women stoop?

    It's apparent that these two women like to hire bullies. I suspect this is true because they themselves are bullies.

  6. There is a lot of complaining, but if half of it is based on reality a recall is long overdue.

    1. Check our fabulous charter regarding recall elections. They are almost impossible to do with all the "regulations."

      June is 7 months away, McLoughlin and Donovan need to go.

  7. Lack of TransparencyNovember 16, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    I think the Southbridge School Committee has adopted the same mindset as MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber. Professor Gruber is an economist who was a top adviser to President Obama on creating "Obamacare."

    Since the law was passed Professor Gruber has made several references to "the stupidity of the American voter." He also states that, "lack of transparency is a huge political advantage."

    Our slick school committee certainly believes in a total lack of transparency.

  8. Ms. Gardner appeared fidgety throughout the entire SC meeting and committee member Abrahamson displayed, what I consider; “Page Envy”.

    Page reminds me of a mix between a young Al Pacino & Leonard Cohen. He’d be my “Go to Guy”.

    1. Get your eyes checkedNovember 17, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      Page is more like Svengali and Caligula

    2. What! Al Pacino. Who wrote that? Amy Allen? More likesomeone from the revenge of the Nerds.

    3. 8 ball in the corner pocketNovember 17, 2014 at 6:46 PM

      Hey swooning I heard "Al Pacino" is a regular at the Corner Pocket with his girls Amy and Jill maybe you can hang with him.

  9. Reprehensible AbrahamsonNovember 17, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Abrahamson is a sad little man. He attacks anyone, but students - really?
    He offers nothing to improvements to our schools. He offered nothing at Tantasqua either.
    But assailing a student on TV is reprehensible.

  10. If they are up for reelection in June, I agree a recall would be a waste of time. A recall is not allowed in the first or last six months of a term. I thought they had 19 more months, not seven more.

  11. I have thought about irNovember 17, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    In response to Slow Down and Think about it, I have.

    Here is an outstanding student risking the repercussions from a school committee (at least some of them) who have shown repeatedly that they will do whatever it takes to have their way, no matter how misguided. Our community as a whole should unite behind her and repudiate these ego-filled, ignorant failures.

    1. Cluck, Cluck, CluckNovember 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      I have thought about ir (or is that suppose to "IT")
      Absolutely correct "outstanding student", but not very bright. She has been fooled into doing the bidding of chickens, trouble makers and lazy SOB's. Absolutely correct again "our community as a whole should united behind her", but only because those adults in the HS are using child to do their bidding. Because those chickens know nothing will happen to her.

    2. The revenge of the trollsNovember 17, 2014 at 6:03 PM

      Why do I suspect that you, Get your eyes checked and Marianna are all the same person? Could it be that all these troll-endorsing comments came within 20 minutes of one another?

    3. Dr. Page can you help me?November 17, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      a a a a a a a a, The revenge of the trolls is "Not Correct".

    4. The revenge of the trollsNovember 17, 2014 at 6:30 PM


    5. Slow Down and Think about itNovember 18, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      This SC must live with the horrible reputation it has created for itself and the publics general rejection of their management. That said, even a broken clock is correct twice a day. How that time it is said out loud also sends a message.

      The discussion has turned to protected first amendment rights vs protecting employees from defamation or personal attacks. In other words allowing Public Criticism vs barring personal attacks.

      Perhaps a helpful guideline would be to focus on whether the comment identifies a specific action or issue of concern, as opposed to a broad based, nonspecific attack on the character or motivation of the public officials involved. For example:

      Criticism: (spoken firmly but calmly) “The police chief is responsible for the acts of her department and should take responsibility for what happened. The officers were wrong to do what they did, and if the manager doesn’t fire the police chief, we think the board should fire the manager.”

      Personal Attack: (spoken with a tone of disgust) This whole town is corrupt and you don’t care about anyone but yourselves. You’ll never do anything about the police chief or the manager because you just don’t care about the citizens.”

      Meetings at which citizens criticize employees or board members can be highly charged and contentious events. It’s often difficult for the chair or mayor to control his or her emotions as the line between criticism and attacks become blurred. The desire to cut off controversial or uncomfortable remarks may be hard to resist. Indeed, a threat to cut off unwelcome comments may escalate, turning a criticism into an argument, resulting in removal for disruptive behavior or personal attacks. Regular and consistent enforcement of time limits on individual speakers may be an effective way to avoid a conflict over a disruptive or controversial speaker.

      Local governments are certainly free to encourage citizens to provide comments in writing, or to meet with supervisors or board members to provide their criticism in a nonpublic forum. But if a citizen truly wishes to make a public criticism, the mayor or chair should recognize the citizen’s right to do so, keep an ear tuned for the difference between an attack and a criticism, and keep a cool head to avoid turning a criticism into a personal attack.

      This all sited - the manor and tone in which this student was shutdown was inappropriate and the explanation was surely lacking. Protection of employees from personal attack was correct but like most everything else the execution was flawed. After all in their book only they get to rip employees in public.

  12. I was just saying that Ray Page is super cute and a real go to guy

  13. Classic Deflection TacticsNovember 18, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    I read these comments attacking Dr. Page and laugh. This is such a play out of the McLoughlin/Donovan play book. Deflect attention away from the real problem. In this case they want us to forget Abrahamson's vicious attack on a defenseless child who was merely trying to present her observations regarding the adult bullies in her education.

    I don't care how cute or uncute Dr. Page is, any more than I care about McLoughlin's girth. I care about results for our children and their education.

    To that end, the McLoughlin/Donovan crew is nothing short of a disaster. Horrific MCAS tests, massive over spending, lack of textbooks for students (honors chemistry students have not had textbooks since the move to the new school - over two years), millions of dollars wasted on paid leaves/unemployment/lawyers/lost arbitration awards, etc. And all "8 ball at the corner pocket" is worried about is Dr. Page having a drink at the Corner Pocket. What an ass! This poster is exactly what's wrong with this hopeless town. Why would anyone want to run for office? Douche bags like the "8 ball" poster give stupidity new meaning.

    Classic McLoughlin/Donovan tactics. I didn't see McLoughlin running to the Boston media outlets to share this poor girls beat down.

    And now McLoughlin and Donovan have their latest Lady-in-Waiting, Brent Abrahamson doing their dirty work - speaking of douche bags!

    Dr. Page, have a double on me. Just keep doing the work of a REAL school committee person - do the right thing for our students.

  14. Point of Order Madame Chair:

    The "Public Input" section of meetings is purposely scheduled prior to the actual meeting commencement. The SC Policy Manual is not in effect during this time. You have violated this child's right to freedom of speech. This girl should contact the American Civil Liberties Union at and share her story. Can you imagine if McLoughlin's daughter was abashed at the podium they was this youngster was?

    This is nothing new for the McLoughin/Donovan gang. Anyone who speaks against their failed policies and personnel they have anointed to positions is immediately stiffed; or in too many cases, placed on paid administrative leave and/or fired.

    It is so apparent that these women and Abrahamson are so far over their heads. But they don't mind bring the system down with them.

    1. "The "Public Input" section of meetings is purposely scheduled prior to the actual meeting commencement. The SC Policy Manual is not in effect during this time."

      Stunningly brilliant and insightful point. Perhaps you should run for school committee.


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