We received a copy of this email from Tess Thompson on behalf of 113 I.S.M students.


From : Tess Thompson [email provided]
Sent : Wednesday, September 6, 2006 6:30 PM
To : boardmailbox@ismanila.com
CC : info@ismstakeholders.com
Subject : An Open Letter to the Board

September 6th, 2006

Dear Members of the Board,

We are writing to you because we are a group of students deeply troubled by recent events in the ISM community. We would like to stress that we have chosen to act now not because any parents or teachers have suggested, endorsed, or otherwise encouraged us to do so. We act now because the current state of affairs has led 199 members of the faculty and staff to go on strike. This loss of school time affects us, students, more than anyone else in this community.

Our purpose as a school is to provide the best education for the children. This is not an institution built on greed, power or authoritarian control. At the moment, the crisis that is occurring is damaging our very role as a school as a home for children to learn.

It seems to us that the Board's termination of the contract of Mr. David Toze was executed without sufficient reason or due process. Furthermore, the manner in which the termination of the Superintendent's contract was terminated demonstrated a lack of tact, ethical concern and respect for the dignity of a man who had worked tirelessly to the betterment of this school. To sack a man on the day of his birthday and escort him out of the gates of the school is an act of pettiness. We call on all members of the Board to hold meetings with the faculty and staff, parents, and students, who all deserve an explanation of the Board's actions and of what is happening to our school.

However, we realize that the Board has not demonstrated willingness to release information regarding their actions, and has responded inadequately to the demands of faculty and staff and parents to hold a meeting and/or engage in dialogue. It is clear to us that many members of the ISM community have lost confidence in the Board.

It is our wish that the teachers return to school soon, with their consciences clear. We sincerely hope that none of our teachers leave ISM, and that our everyday school life will resume as soon as possible. We believe that if this does not happen, the repercussions will be profoundly deep and long lasting. They will directly affect us as well as any brothers, sisters, or friends we have who attend ISM.

Therefore, this current crisis must be resolved quickly, efficiently, and decisively. The time has come for the Board to act in a manner that is truly best for the school, both in the short term and in the long term. Hence if the members of the Board do not elect to begin meeting with the rest of the ISM community without delay, we regretfully ask for their immediate resignation, so that the community may elect a new Board and give our school a fresh start.

Signed,

113 students from the International School Manila