Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kinnons Efforts to Control - Us, Firefighters, Teachers, and ??

We have been accused of being school haters, union proponents, members of the Concerned Citizens of Malden group, and the list goes on. As we have addressed repeatedly, we are none of the above. As we stated earlier we listed the link to the Malden School Budget as a way to demonstrate that when a school has nothing to hide, they have no issues or concerns in submitting their records under the Freedom of Information Act as required by law. The fact that our school has chosen to break the law rather than follow the law causes us to question why they would the repercussions of breaking that law if they have not broken any other laws. We can also assure our readers that we are in no way affiliated with any unions or union actions. In fact, while we do believe that our teachers should unite for better working conditions, we don't feel the unions are the answer. In fact, we would prefer the teachers align themselves with the Pioneer Institute ( to address the improvement of their working conditions. They have done some wonderful research and made great strides towards education reform. Another group called Turn Exchange ( is another organization that works with teachers and making great accomplishments.

 As for being affiliated with the Concerned Citizens of Malden group, we are not but believe that their purpose and message are important. It appears as though the Malden government is out of control and running amok and this group is possible the only chance of cleaning it up. It appears as though individuals within that group and our group (and other MVRCS parents)  are working towards a common goal but from two very different perspectives and for different reasons. Case in point is Roosevelt Park and the CCM's hope of squashing it entirely for the sake of the children and families of Malden. Alternatively, we do feel that the students of MVRCS do need field space but feel that it should be accomplished with in the right manner, with transparency and with the blessings of Malden residents.
In regards to our comment regarding going to the sending districts and 'sharing' our information in an attempt to remove funding, we don't want that any more than anyone else, especially since a few of us are NOT from Malden and this would impact the education of our children. Again, our hope is not to destroy the school but rather to have the school handle things within the legal boundaries the school is governed by.  If we thought for a moment that Neil Kinnon was capable of this, we would do everything possible to work with him rather than against him to resolve our concerns. While we may not admire or approve of his tactics and methods, we are very much not Neil Kinnon haters. We appreciate that the school would not exist if it were not for him and the other founders of the school. That being said, we do feel that the time has come for him to release control of the school for the sake of the school to individuals who are able to ensure the schools future success.
We recently came across the case file concerning the Malden Firefighters and their legal battle with Neil Kinnon and Mayor Howard from 2004. The case revolved around the Malden Firefighters (and their Union reps) attempting to advocate against Mr. Kinnon's decision to reduce the fire staff. The Firemen (as we understand it) were posting signs, handing out leaflets, and generally attempting to education the public as to the actions of Mr. Kinnon & Mr. Howard and the impact to the residents. The case went to court (and expenses incurred) as both parties defended their position. While we can understand an appointed Commissioners and Mayors desire to not have the fact that they were paying for a Commissioner rather than Firefighters, the extent of the battle amazed us. Mr. Kinnon was attempting to deny the Firefighters of Malden their First Amendment right to voice their opposition to the actions. The Firefighters prevailed but it was sad that the City of Malden felt entitled to such limitations upon their staff, spent city funds to defend, and had written a Memorandum that was in violation of the laws that govern our government and those that govern employers actions. I raise this example for two points, the first being to demonstrate exactly how far Mr. Kinnon is willing to go to control what is said or written about him (or his actions, tactics, behaviors) regardless of whether his position is legal or ethically correct.
The second reason for sharing this information is to draw attention to the contracts that our teachers must sign prior to employment with our school. Per their contract they are not permitted to speak on subject matters that are restricted by the Administration. This includes communicating with parents regarding the education of their children, possible removing their children from MVRCS, and/or the quality of services or appropriateness of their child remaining at MVRCS. This means that if a teacher speaks about any of these subject matters to parents, they are subject to immediate termination. Additionally, the teachers are not only not encouraged to discuss working conditions, or employment issues with each other, they again can (and are) immediately terminated for doing so. We believe that a number of elements within our teachers are not only unethical but also illegal under Discrimination laws. For teachers to be terminated for sharing a concern, idea, or theory with parents regarding the education of their child is seen as retaliatory under the American with Disabilities Act. The fact that teacher contracts state such language is outrageous and parents with children with special needs should be aware that the teachers are being illegally restricted from communicating with you about your childs education.
Finally, for those of you who still do not understand why the need for anonymity for the writers of this blog, we have now demonstrated and proved the need for such. If Mr. Kinnon was willing to take on the Firefighters of Malden (who are represented by Union Officials and their attorneys) to deny them their right to speak out against him and his actions, it would not be a stretch to imagine what Mr. Kinnon would be willing and determined to do to us. And, like the Firefighters and against the desires, threats, and actions of him and his 'associates' (you know, the individuals who post on here about how awful EVERYTHING we have to say is), we have a legal right to discuss our displeasure with Mr. Kinnons handling of our school and school funds.

Below is a portion of the verdict regarding the Malden Firefighters Case against Mr. Kinnon & Mr. Howard:

"In its entirety, the court's November 26, 2002 Order reads as
follows:After a hearing held this day, the court grants the motion for
a preliminary injunction in part. The City of Malden and the defendant
Commissioner and Mayor are hereby ORDERED to withdraw the final
paragraph of the Commissioner's November 1, 2002 Memorandum
prohibiting the display on fire station property of any
non-preapproved sign protesting municipal staffing levels and
budgetary decisions. This ORDER is entered without prejudice to the
City's right to ban all signage of an advocacy nature from fire
station property without discrimination as to its contents. Defendants
are further ENJOINED from instituting any disciplinary action based on
the alleged violation of the unauthorized signage provision of the
November 1, 2002 Memorandum or instituting any disciplinary action
based on a firefighter's off-duty exercise of his or her First
Amendment right to free expression on issues of public concern,
including fire department staffing levels and budgetary decisions.
Defendants are further DIRECTED to rescind any disciplinary action
taken to date based on the alleged violation of the unauthorized
signage provision of the November 1, 2002 Memorandum. Upon the
parties' completion of discovery, the court will hear argument as to
the constitutionality of Chapter 5, §§ 6, 7, 25 and 37 of the Malden
Fire Department's Rules and Regulations."

(1) firefighters had standing;
(2) regulation conditioning presentation of grievances to mayor or
city council upon notification to fire commissioner and fire chief
violated firefighters' free speech rights;
(3) regulations requiring prior department approval of firefighters'
public comments on matters of department administration violated
firefighters' free speech rights; but
(4) regulation requiring firefighters summoned to testify before court
or agency to notify department comported with First Amendment; and
(5) content-neutral ban on advocacy signage in fire station was
reasonable under First Amendment.


  1. It is time for Kinnon to go. We cannot allow any more shame or divisiveness to be brought upon our school. He will be the one responsible for bringing down the school if he is allowed to stay. It's not like he is making any money off this job so it would be a gift to his family if he had one less responsibility to deal with.

  2. Newflash! He's not leaving and the board will continue "as is" loons will never get your way and folks like you scare the hell out of us who support this school...thank god you won't get far with your smear campaign as nobody is taking your serious anymore...and your BS about the school breaking laws is nothing but slander...they have broken no laws so either stand up and face the folks you accuse so they can defend themselves or shut the hell up! Oh, and go ahead and contact anyone you want (sending districts, etc...), nobody cares about gutless people who shoot off thier mouths but won't stand up in public for what they believe is right...stop complaining aobut how "afraid" you are...anyone with a brain can now see that your agenda is "hidden" and meant to attack anyone who doesn't do what you will NEVER change anything staying hidden and until you come out and stand up for something so people know who you are and can truly debate you then your smear campaign will do nothing...nothing you do will change the board and I hope if any of them decide to leave on thier own that they appoint people who share their same values...and the best part of that can do NOTHING about it! Oh, and one last thing, the teachers are treated just like anyone else in america who doesn't work for a UNION, if they perform and follow the rules then they continue to have employment...wake up you bunch of idiots, this is what is RIGHT with any school who takes this approach; unlike all the crappy public schools across the country who can't get rid of sub-standard teachers because of unions, tenure, many of you who work your "day" jobs have the same rules that most public schools have; probably none of you (unless you are in a union), if you don't perform or talk bad about your company, or don't follow the rules, then guess what, you won't be working very long...good grief, you haters have lost your way...good luck to you!

  3. All great and well except that when we need to reveal ourselves to others, we have and will continue to do so. It is just here and with individuals who we are unsure of that we keep our identities hidden. I can assure you, if this blog does nothing else it will bring Neil Kinnon and his action into focus and the public eye. Defend him all you want but as an employee of his and the school you should know that he is under scrutiny and his time will come. As will yours. So good luck to you as well.
    PS - We are not Haters but we're also not on his payroll or indebted to him. Can you say the same? Yeah, didn't think so.

  4. Check out this case in Oregon (different state but still governed by the ADA laws) where the school retaliated against a teacher who tried to advocate for their students. Too bad none of the teachers at MVRCS could take on the expense of a legal battle with MVRCS for doing the same types of things.

    Also, is great resource for parents of students on IEP's or 504's (or those who think their child may need either).
    More from this website coming up....

  5. Why is the bashers of this site scream and demand to know who is behind this, yet do not identify themselves???

    Another group Kinnon tried to Kontrol is the Malden Taxpayers for Accountability. He came up with the idea of a group to oppose the trash tax and recruited Bob Miller in secret meetings at a restaurant up in Wakefield. One of the bashers here thought they were busting my bubble on the other blog "What We Know..." about how I didn't know who was pulling the strings of that group. Well, Bob told us up front from the beginning. As I stated, I was uncomfortable thinking Neil and I would be working for the same cause yet he never showed his face or did anything (himself) to help us get on the ballot or even have a sign on his lawn. Don't think he is so happy Bob is not going along with the secret deal for Roosevelt Park. We all know how Neil loves his secrets! Well, this is one I always knew about and didn't see the need to reveal it necessarily until one of his puppets thought they were getting over on me. Not this time! Next...!

  6. Go away Annie, nobody gives a crap about you...

  7. Maybe I would if I knew who you were. And if I cared what you thought. At least I have the courage to put my name on my posts. That is "courage" with a "c" and not the Kourage you have after chugging the Koolaid.

    I'm wondering if the Council is so happy to learn who got Bob Miller on all their cases. He had no intentions of starting the group before Neil recruited him. Now he can't put the genie back in the bottle. I am sure you would all love me to go away because I know too much. Keep bashing me. Every time you do, it seems it reminds me of another dirty little secret.

  8. I'm not sure who feels the need to pick on Annie O. but why not leave her alone, she has more courage than you do - she at least takes the credit (and heat) for her posts. She's more of a man than you'll ever be....

  9. She takes credit and heat for her posts?

    Maybe you know who Annie O's is but I'm sure most of us don't.

    There was only one parent who said who she was and spoke her mind. NW and she hasn't posted in a long time. Has someone scared her away or does she know something we don't.

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  14. Just FYI, I know that teachers in other districts are also limited in what they can and can't say to parents about their childs education. In public school if a teacher speaks out and informs a parent their child isn't getting the services they need, then the school is on the hook for sending that kid to another school. I don't know if that was what you were talking about or if it is the same at charter schools, but public school teachers do have restrictions placed on them too.

  15. Yes, you are correct; public school teachers are prohibited from informing parents that the school can not adequately education their child until the Chairperson or Director of Special Education has made an official determination. The issue at MVRCS is vastly different as teachers are restricted from saying much of anything to parents regarding children who are having difficulties. Teachers have been written up and/or terminated for saying things that are 'legal' and/or acceptable within most schools yet not permitted at MVRCS. We have heard from a number of parents their frustration at trying to determine how their child is doing within reading and/or math, for clarification as to their placement, or if they should be concerned about their childs progress. It appears that many teachers are hesitant to put make statements as to specifics without approval of the Administration. We hope this clarifies the difference for you and why we take issue with this practice.