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An Open Letter to CCS - May 10, 2023

Dear Members of the Board, Dr. Beresford and other members of the administration,

I am writing to convey concern over several implications of a statement made yesterday on Facebook. I truly do not want to be one of those parents who wastes your time with trivial items, but I do feel this is another instance that merits your attention.


I am attaching the statement at issue.



My concerns are as follows:

1) Ms. Stewart seems to be claiming that she has been in multiple CCS libraries/media centers. I feel that this is unlikely given our awesome team of SROs. Additionally, Ms. Stewart has repeatedly demonstrated herself to be unrestrained by the truth. Still, the claim is disturbing. Even if it’s completely false, it sends a poor message to the community for a non-parent who is openly hostile to our schools to be publicly claiming she’s spent enough time in them to review the contents of their media centers in any meaningful way.


2) If Ms. Stewart did gain access to our schools, I am concerned whether such access could have possibly been provided by current board member Greg Brown. Ms. Stewart, whose actual name is (REDACTED), appears in the campaign finance filings for Mr. Brown, as well as the other two candidates who ran on his slate. Throughout last year’s campaign, she aggressively spread misinformation in support of that slate.


I am certainly not alleging that Mr. Brown provided Ms. Stewart with access, but am noting that it has a very worrisome appearance. I am guessing that CCS keeps strict logs of visitors to our schools, even if they are accompanied by someone in a position of authority. If for some reason there is an exception for guests of board members or those holding any other official position, I would urge you to act to close that loophole.


3) In the context of Ms. Stewart’s statement and the recent book banning bill passed by our legislature and signed into law by our governor, I am deeply concerned about what types of tactics may be deployed by Ms. Stewart, her Moms for Liberty accomplices and other anti-CCS groups or individuals. Given that they seem intent on harming our schools, I can easily envision them recruiting someone with access to place an offensive book either in a school’s media center or a targeted teacher’s classroom library.

My wife and I both have loved volunteering in our children’s classrooms this year and I’m sure the same is true of many, many other parents. I certainly don’t want parents to lose that opportunity due to a small group of unethical bad actors. That said, I do think we may be at the point where outside visitors should be required to have documented what they’re bringing in with them. I would hate for one of our teachers to be in the position of having to defend themselves because some terrible person snuck in an inappropriate book and put it somewhere in the classroom. Please consider whether a policy update could help protect against this potential situation.


As with my last email, since the attached comments were made publicly, I intend for this communication to be available to the public as well. To that end, it is posted at: https://www.carmelschoolsdad.com/post/an-open-letter-to-ccs-may-10-2023.


As always, thank you for your time and all you do for our kids. I know more and more parents are waking up to the ridiculous attacks against our schools and their teachers, and I hope that we are able to help stem their tide.


Sincerely,

Jim May

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