We received some very negative responses to our last posting regarding the handling of both the lottery and waitlist at MVRCS. We noticed that while few took issue with the information we provided regarding the last lottery, many did take offense with the naming of individuals. We feel that our readers need to know that we do wrestle with idea of naming names and try to avoid doing so when possible. We do not wish to destroy anyone or cause harm to innocent individuals. The problem arises though when we have information to share that involves certain individuals. If we are too vague, we are accused of not being well informed. Alternatively if we name the individuals, we are accused of going too far. Additionally, we have to be sure that what we are posting does not put our sources in danger of being discovered or identified through specific information. Many times we have more specific information than we share but feel that it would jeopardize our position. It is a very fine line that we walk and we apologize if we have offended anyone.
A perfect example would be that of the re-admission of two of the Assistant Directors family members. When we were vague and just said that we knew it had happened, we were accused of not knowing what we were talking about. At the same time, when we did name the Assistant Director specifically (without mentioning the student’s names), others accused us of slander and libel. The fact is that the information is accurate and the incident did occur. We feel that as this is in violation of the laws that govern the school, that it should be addressed. If this were the only violation we were aware of we may not feel that it would be worth addressing. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
We have received an incredible amount of information from parents and teachers (both current and former) who have shared with us numerous documented examples of the school not following the laws that govern it. Initially this was dumb founding to us as we couldn’t imagine the school risking their charter by not following the laws. At first we thought that the Department of Education hadn’t been informed of their infractions. Unfortunately we found that many parents and teachers had contacted the Department of Education (we have copies of letters and emails). As we’ve commented before, we are disappointed in how the DOE has handled issues pertaining to MVRCS.
We must say that the laws make it difficult for parents and teachers to file complaints as they must first present the complaint to the Board. Many parents of MVRCS are hesitant to openly file a complaint with the Board out of fear of retaliation. It has recently been pointed out to us that the law reads “A parent, guardian, or other individuals or groups who believe that a charter school has violated or is violating any provision of M.G.L. c. 71, § 89, or 603 CMR 1.00 may file a complaint with the charter school's board of trustees.” This means that a parent does not need to identify themselves but could request an outsider to file the complaint. Additionally (and we feel even more important), the law states that “A parent, guardian, or other individuals or groups who believe that a charter school has violated or is violating any state or federal law or regulation regarding special education may file a complaint directly with the Department.” This means that should a parent have an issue pertaining to Special Education (which we think is a major concern at MVRCS), they no longer have to first present their issue to the Board of Trustees but can file their complaint directly with the Department of Education. For parents of Special Education learners, if your child is not receiving the services they are entitled to and/or your IEP meetings are not held according to law (including the timelines for receiving documents), then we suggest you file your complaint directly with the Department of Education.