Editorial: School Committee Candidate Brian Karp statement about Religious Observence

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Dear Hopkinton Residents,

The School Committee’s failure to fully embrace the needs of families and the committee’s inadequate method of obtaining public input at its meetings are very troubling to me.

With regard to the needs of families, on May 6, 2015 the School Department announced that on Thursday, May 14th the School Committee will be reviewing the Religious Holiday Observance and Religious Expression Policy. I do not believe that it is merely a coincidence that the committee is planning to review this policy 4 days before the town election.

The School Committee Chairman, who voted to remove religious holidays from the school calendar, is now trying to right a wrong (a wrong that he voted for TWICE).

As a candidate who has steadfastly stated that he will work for families and fight for the values that keep our community strong, please join me in seeing this for what it is: a School Committee that, time and time again, has failed to do its due diligence and vet its policies, programs, and processes trying desperately to stay in power.

With regard to obtaining public input, I do not think that the School Committee’s strict rules for public comment at its meetings are in keeping with what the community wants. Unlike other boards and committees including the Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board, the School Committee limits public comment to a narrow time slot at the beginning of each meeting. Furthermore, unlike the other boards, the School Committee merely listens instead of engaging in dialog with the public.
If you believe that the School Committee created the 2015-2016 School Calendar without properly accounting for the needs of families and if you believe that the School Committee has an ineffective method for engaging with the public, then please vote for a real change on Monday, May 18th and vote for me, Brian Karp, for School Committee.