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Vitriol between district, charter director continues to spew

Board votes 5-2 to send letter to Corbett Charter director, Dunton responds


With tensions mounting between the Corbett School District and Corbett Charter School, the school board voted 5-2 Monday to send a strongly worded letter to the Corbett Charter School board of directors.

Monday’s special board meeting followed public outcry last week demanding that the Corbett School Board reconsider its decision to not renew the charter’s lease another year.

Members of the public continued to voice their concerns about the lease, but the meeting had one agenda item: voting to send a letter to Charter Director Bob Dunton and his charter board.

Following the meeting, vitriol continues to spew back and forth between district and charter parties.

“The nearly constant barrage of written attacks on the district’s administration, staff and this board are inappropriate, unacceptable and unprofessional,” the letter from Corbett directors read. “These communications are clearly intended to assassinate the character of the district administration, staff and this board.”

The letter said the charter school director “has also unleashed a barrage of threats toward the district with a clear intent to harm the district and its students.”

It states that because the school board had not seen any indication the charter board objected to the criticism, it was in support of the threats.

The letter requests an investigation into the correspondence from the charter school director related to the lease agreement and a clear statement of the board’s position on the accusations and threats.

“It is clear from these communications that the charter director is desperate and is blaming others for his failure to plan for a smooth transition of the charter to occupy other facilities, despite receiving a notice nearly 18 months prior to the start of the 2014-15 school year,” the letter read.

School Board directors Annette Calcagno and Victoria Purvine voted against the letter, citing concerns that an attorney should be the one sending the letter, that the statement refers to a separate lease agreement and that not all board members were involved in the letter’s drafting.

Dunton responded to the letter in an email Wednesday, saying the Corbett School Board “killed two birds with one stone at their most recent ‘special meeting.’ ”

“Like a yurt in the East Wind, the CSD Board’s letter was poorly planned and, at the end of the day, its execution was what your kids would call ‘an epic fail.’”

Dunton said in his email the meeting and letter constituted “repeated character assassination with vague accusations of a wide variety of nothing in particular.”

He called “attacking charter parents who volunteer to serve on your board” a “despicable act: an act of collaborative cowardice” and referred to the superintendent and five male school board members as “six angry men who read somebody’s else’s mail and didn’t like what they saw.”

“Why does CSD even care what I wrote to you?” Dunton wrote. “That’s easy. They care because they see you as their market, their domain, their potential revenue flow. We wouldn’t want to put that at risk.

“This sad attempt at harassment is just the latest in a long serious of unfortunate events that has haunted the CSD for the past 18 or 20 months,” Dunton wrote. “Mostly they’ve been funny, with some occasional exceptions that could only be called vindictive.”



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