May 31, 2002
I have been shocked and dismayed by the recent editorial in one local paper that called for condemnation of Carrie Morgridge and Laurie Michaels and the political cartoon in the other paper that I see as a slap in the face to the Morgridges for their generous gift for the CMC building to our community. Both papers have jumped on this bandwagon of slamming these two based on rumor, innuendo and opinion without caring to learn why they’re so frustrated with the school district or what the facts are that support their position, and both papers have promoted the most hateful campaign against two people that I have seen in this town.
I have two children attending the Aspen schools. I think we have a great school system and the large majority of teachers and administrators are wonderful, dedicated and effective in their jobs. But I believe, along with the large majority of the parents that I have talked to or listened to at meetings, that there are areas where improvement, change, accountability, or further education of staff should be made. These are involved, caring parents who want to see our schools continue to improve for our kids. We should not have to fear of public condemnation if we speak up, but that is the atmosphere that has been created.
One article discussed the need for people to get their facts together before making accusations. It appears to me that this is what Morgridge and Michaels have tried to do in requesting the public records on the specific matters mentioned in their letter to the newspapers. I know that it must be a hassle and time-consuming to pull these documents together and I empathize. Have their requests been complied with as required by law? Whether these two are right or wrong in their view of the problems at the school district, they have the right to see the public records. Don’t attack them for this because you are attacking an important right that each one of us has.
Even if you totally disagree with everything they have done in the current controversy, don’t let that overshadow all of the good things the Morgridges have done for our community. Although they don’t advertise their generosity, I know personally that they have made huge contributions of time, energy and financial aide to Wildwood Preschool, CMC, and the new ice rink, benefiting so many of us in this valley. This family is a wonderful asset to our community.
If you felt so passionate about an issue concerning your child that you deemed it necessary to research public school records or to speak out against a school administrator, would you? Even if it means you would be met by the same campaign abuse and character assassination as we have seen here?
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