Bea Paterno, a Senior, writes to the community.

From: "bay paterno"
Date: 07 Sep 2006, 02:45:59 PM
Subject: Letter to the ISM community

September 7, 2006

To the ISM Community,

As a senior at this school, I have been both shocked and confused at the events that have occurred over the past few days. We have been cut off from our teachers due to email restrictions. Two days of school have been cancelled, taking away our time in the classroom, which, for seniors especially, is vital. More importantly, the entire community, most especially the Board, has failed to communicate the facts and details of these events to the ones who are most affected- the students.

Several of those involved in the matter have expressed that they do not wish to involve the students in these affairs. However, this would be impossible, as we are the heart of this school, and any action taken by the adults of our community will be most influential on us. The students need concrete facts, not just rumors, because we are clearly concerned and want to be heard.

On Tuesday, some members of this year's senior class came together to discuss the events, trying to make sense of what they had heard. We had decided that we no longer wanted to be left in the dark, second-guessing the actions of parents, faculty, and Board. On Wednesday a Student Forum was held, completely student-led by several seniors who were present at the meeting the night before. This gave some students a chance to learn a few of the facts, and ask questions about how the situation will affect us directly. I tell you this as evidence that students do care, and do want to know what is going on, if only given the chance. 113 students at the end of the forum signed a letter calling for the Board's resignation, and well over that number were certainly in attendance.

While we were grateful to the parents who had come to the forum, invited by students to help clear up the issues of which they knew more about, some have expressed their concern that most opinions were very one sided. However, with no statement or acknowledgement from the Board to the students, on what other information are we to base our own opinions?

We students are the most important members of this community, and it is unfair that communication with us has been so poor. We do not want our knowledge of something that affects us so directly to be based on rumors or on the opinions of one group of people. It is extremely unfortunate that our situation be turned to this, and yet even more terrible that in the midst of it, the presence of the student body has been almost completely ignored. It is vital that both sides provide us with the knowledge that they themselves have access to, acknowledging our presence in this community.

Thank you,

Bea Paterno
Class of 2007