standing letters

In his July 26 letter to the editor of The Westerly Sun, Mr. Robert Chiaradio made several claims about the Westerly School Committee meeting held on July 14. He declared the meeting that night “was a total plot between your School Committee chairman, your superintendent and your WTA union president.” I had the privilege of being among those at the July 14 meeting who spoke against the resolution to ban critical race theory in Westerly schools. For the record, I was not contacted prior to the meeting by anyone from Westerly Public Schools about expressing my views that night. In his letter, Mr. Chiaradio asked, “How did the WTA know there was a meeting sign-in sheet, but no one who supported my resolution did?” Since I had never spoken to the Westerly School Committee prior to July 14, I didn’t consider beforehand that there would be a sign-in sheet to speak. However, since it was prominently displayed, I quickly located the sheet and signed my name. I am confident that anyone would have had no more trouble than I did in making it known they wished to be heard. Based on my experience, the Westerly School Committee did not “collude” to keep anyone, regardless of whether they supported the resolution or not, from speaking their minds.

Mr. Chiaradio also asked in his letter why those of us who do not agree with him on education and curriculum in Westerly schools worked “so hard to bury one man?” None of my comments nor any of the comments I heard from others against the resolution were a personal attack against anyone with a different perspective. We spoke only about why we believed the resolution was not in the best educational interests of children.

In his July 26 letter, Mr. Chiaradio chose once again to restate his claim that critical race theory has as its aim the teaching of “hate and untruths.” There is no more basis for this trumped-up charge than there is for saying that school officials schemed to “discredit” him and “provide cover” for themselves at the July 14 meeting. Repeating this false accusation over and over again will not eventually make it true.

David Madden


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