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Meeting 'Got out of Hand,' School Committee Chair Says

Chair Mike Tyler plans to speak tonight about "unacceptable" events that occurred at the Monday meeting he did not attend. The vice chair, who ran the Monday meeting, disagrees with his analysis.

Attleboro residents have a chance to find out tonight what was learned through recent focus groups on the search for a school district superintendent. They also may be able to find out what School Committe Chair Mike Tyler believes should and should not happen at committee meetings.

Tyler told Attleboro Patch earlier this week he was bothered by how the meeting on Monday was run in his absence by Vice Chair Brenda Furtado. Among the incidents he did not care for were comments made during open forum by school district parent Jen Crowder that included criticisms of Committee member David Murphy and Superintendent Pia Durkin (look for more information about Crowder's complaint on Patch later this week).

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"The school committee should not be utilized to make personal attacks against members of the administration and the school committee," Tyler said. "What happened during open forum was unacceptable."

He added, "The meeting got out of hand and I will be addressing this on Thursday in more detailed fashion."

Patch told Furtado what Tyler said, and she responded that she had not heard from the chair, and was disappointed he had contacted the media prior to contacting her. She also disagreed with his analysis of how the meeting, including open forum, functioned.

"Open forum is for the community to voice their concerns when their concerns are not being addressed at the school/administration level," wrote Furtado in an email. "[Monday] night's open forum was not used for personal attacks and all open forum guidelines were adhered to." 

Tonight's school committee meeting is scheduled to take place at 8 p.m. in Room 178E of Attleboro High School.

Chrys Swenson December 13, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Perhaps the members of the school committee should spend a day at Willett Elementary School and learn the Willett Way. "Safe and Secure. Respectful and Responsible. Positive and Productive. Kind and Courteous." The children would not be allowed to bicker and pick at one another in this manner. Shouldn't the adults that are in charge of their education have to follow the same rules? If teachers acted this way in the schools they would be fired. I am so sick of all this drama. Get along for the sake of the children, you are there for them not to further any political agenda's. Do the job you were elected to do and forget your ego's especially when you're on television.
G. Pereria December 13, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Let's go the Willett way and ignore what Mr. Murphy did at that meeting. He sent an email to other members asking them to stop Ms. Craw from helping special education students. He tried to form an alliance with other committee members against Ms. Craw. He did not even care about the Speech issue at Willett School. Mr. Murphy got upset because he was called out on not doing what was best for the children involved. Now his fan club is trying to make this look like Furtado and Craw are to blame. Even Ken Parent had to Davey boy in his place. If he was invited to a meeting and it was not a focus group, he does not have the right to take it upon himself to represent the school committee at a meeting they did not know about. This is starting to remind me of the Ray DiCaccio days with the 'back door" meetings. Mr. Murphy again is the reason for this chaos and no matter what his buddies say - he again is not doing his job and is trying to cover it up. Help these children Mr. Murphy do not try to stop their services. Leave other committee members alone. If you spent as much time on the issues as you do whinning, maybe parents would respect you and you would actually do something to help the community.
J McKenna December 13, 2012 at 09:40 PM
I watched the meeting Monday night. I have not missed a meeting yet. David Murphy was rude and his behavior was unacceptable. Members Furtado, Craw and Parent had to raise their voices just to get a work in edge wise. His attitude and behavior was unacceptable. Even if Furtado, Craw and Parent got loud they were still respectful. Mr. Murphy was out of control. As one member said they are a committee or 9 not 1 or 2. Mr. Murphy and Mr. Tyler need to remember this. If I was Ms. Craw, I would be talking to the chair about David Murphy trying to get fellow committee members to gang up against her. What a shameful tactic. Why does Mr. Murphy always cause problems between school committee members and try to make others look bad in the public eye. He needs to learn how to cooperate with others and not cause problems.
Mrs. Johnson December 13, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Parent, Craw and Furtado have been fair and respectable. They stand up of the children and the district. Just because Dave Murphy got caught sending an inappropriate email, he should not attack certain members. Just because certain members won't join with him to team up against other members, he should not attack them. Put blame where blame is do. David Murphy has dragged this school committee through the mud since day one. He lied about residency to get elected. He caused bad press regarding the Superintendent search (which was discussed as we can see today, or maybe the focus groups are just a dream) and now he is trying to derail members from helping special education children. Leave the committee members alone who are working to help our schools. Contact Murphy and let him know that his actions are despicable and he should be removed from his seat on the school committee. Isn't he sick of lying and trying to deceit the public.
Frank Stearns December 13, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Thank you Ms. Craw for letting the public know about Mr. Murphy's sneaky antics and how he is only on the committee to cause problems. Secret meetings, shameful emails. Why does this man want to sabotage the school committee? Ms. Furtado did an excellent job as chair at this meeting. She let a community member speak. The community member did not degrade or attack anyone. This is the purpose of open forum: to let the public express their concerns. Just because Mr. Murphy did not like the content or the speaker, he should not try to blame other members for his mistakes. Again I hear the "sisters" are at it again. It is funny that even Ken Parent also disagreed with Murphy. So why does David Murphy always go at the Furtado and Craw? It is certainly clear that he has a personal agenda against these two ladies and unfortunately puts this above the reason he was elected - to help the district. The public should be aware of the issues and Mr. Murphy should not try to hide or cover up his total disregard for the the students in our school system.
Nancy S December 13, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Mr. Murphy is disgraceful. He has certainly proved that he will stop at nothing to defame outstanding members of the community. Stop the temper tantrums Mr. Murphy. Other members were getting along and working together and here you go again trying to get everyone to choose sides and stop progress. I actually feel that this committee would be one of the best that Attleboro has seen if you weren't not on it. Mr. Murphy you need to stop being the problem and start helping to find a resolution. You really have been deceptive to the people who voted for you. Stop the lies and trying to hurt other committee members.
Louie Costa December 13, 2012 at 10:34 PM
I think it is a shame that people are not looking at the real issue here. David Murphy tried to thwart a fellow member from helping Special Education students. From what was divulged Monday night, the issue still isn't resolved. Murphy needs to reprimanded and this issue needs to be taken care of immediately. Mr. Murphy should not be able to wiggle his way out of this one by turning on someone else. He sure is good at doing that. How does this man sleep at night. And Mr. Tyler, watch the meeting and help this parent don't stand up for someone just because he intimidates you. Also, Mr. Tyler it seems you were aware of Mr. Murphy's disgraceful antics and the Special Education issues at Willett and did not act on either. Please explain yourself to the public. What do you Mr. Tyler and Mr. Murphy have up your sleeves? Please do not take personal vendettas out on our children...they certainly do not deserve this.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) December 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Many of the people commenting above need to take a deep breath and debate with more civility—without name-calling and the use of unproductive adjectives. Also, comments accusing others of secretly being behind user names will be deleted. If you suspect this is happening, then take it up with that person, do not speculate about it here. As always, you are encouraged to use your real name. It makes your arguments much stronger. If you disagree with me about that, then email me your opinion. Do not write about it here.
Jen Cerrone December 13, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Mr. Murphy you certainly fooled the voters of Attleboro when you ran for office. You have been petty, deceitful and the cause of controversy on the school committee. Lets go even further.....you lied about residency and now you have been caught red handed ignoring issues in the are of Special Education in our schools. Lets all remember that not one school in our district was proficient in their MCAS scores. Such a shame and now this issue that Mr. Murphy feels needs to be disregarded. Instead he would rather attack fellow committee members. All I have to say is I would like to thank the cable guy, his sister, the guy at the gas station and the cash register he uses and let's not forget to give a well deserved thanks for the pigeon who spat on more car because this took alot of time and effort and that pigeon deserves everyone's thanks.....whatever!!! and anyone who watches the meetings knows exactly what I mean. As for Mr. Tyler he knew about the Special Education issue and the email sent by Murphy and he did not act on either. Mr. Tyler you should not be so intimidated by Mr. Murphy and do what is best to help the children of the district. Mr. Tyler you have done a disservice to the Special Education students in Attleboro and you need to help correct his right away. Mr. Murphy you should just go away (quietly please) and leave the other members on the committee alone.
JD December 13, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Mr Parent, Let's see if the SC can actually focus on the mission of finding a new Superintended tonight.The proof will be in committee actions tonight. We will know 10 minutes into the process. Also, I am happy to hear that you attended a few of the focus meetings. I do not have the attendance records of the meetings. It's a small city Mr Parent, not hard to find out who attended what meetings nor should it be. I look forward to this process. This will be one of the most important decisions this committee will make and I feel the process put in place was/is the right one to date. It's extremely frustrating for the public to watch and observe the actions and behavoir of your(our) committee. One get's the feeling that there are members always ready to pounce with a "gotcha" moment. All to blame IMO. In the end the body of work is the result of the efforts of the committee as a whole. The communication issues are often prevented when the rules a clearly outlined beforehand. Maybe someday we can all talk about the issues and not the squabbles within the committee. Tonight is a new night. God Bless...
Reason December 14, 2012 at 12:47 AM
You turned an open forum discussion about the search for a superintendent into your own personal vendetta against Murphy. Your claims of residency have been looked into and found lacking. Please stop wasting the school committees time.
Renee December 14, 2012 at 01:06 AM
@reason who are you referring to I thought the mothers name was Jen crowder .... That was not a nice thing to say either ... She is doing something for all special Ed parents obviously you don't know what she said or was there for on Monday
Reason December 14, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I fully support her fighting for special ed students. Bringing it up at unrelated meeting is a waste of the school committees time as is continuing to attack Mr. Murphy.
Sarah December 14, 2012 at 03:04 AM
As the title of this article states this WHOLE TOPIC is out of hand. The Dynamic duo if Craw and Fertado need to be silenced. Unfortunatly they are going to ruin any prospect of Attleboro hiring a "good" superintendent the second they open thier mouths. Ken PArent , as nice as he is, needs to pick a side. YES I SAID IT! There are sides on the SC!! Barbara and Brenda on on the side of THIER children, and thier children only (not yours or mine) no matter how mant time they say they are! They were elected to get rid of Pia, well done Ladies, mission accomplished . Now go away. The only thing you are good at is destroying relationships, NOT listening to your constituants unless is suits your new cause (Well, you do listen to Jen Crowder, or does she just do your bidding?). I know, I have tried to talk to both of you, and couldnt get a word in edgewise. Good luck Mike and Dave. You have your work cut out for you. Dont set your expectations to high. Barbara and Brenda will do thier best to destroy any hopes you have of successfully hiring a great superintendent. Besides why would ANYONE want to work with them?
Renee December 14, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Well when.is it suppose to be brought up no one will listen .... i have a special ed child and just once i wish they would listen if ur gonna use special ed for a platform to win then special ed should be your top priority i dont see it as attacking him if you read all the comments she just seems to be the only one who will call him out .....
Pat Woods December 14, 2012 at 04:52 AM
Sarah did you even watch the meeting Monday night. Dave Murphy tried to recruit Mr. Oneil and Mr Larson to do his dirty work. Let me key you in on what happened at the meeting. Ms. Craw stood up for Special Ed students, not just Ms. Crowder, but many students who were not getting their speech therapy. So your claim that Mrs. Craw only cares about her child is null and void. Get your facts straight before you speak. The last I new, Ms. Craw's child attends Thacher School not Willett. Willett school is the one with the Speech issue. So this is only one example of Ms. Craw putting other children first and trying to help resolve the problem not try to dismiss like Murphy. He also tried to drag other members down asking them to support his unexcusable actions. As a parent of a Special Ed student at Hill Roberts, I find it reassuring that Ms. Craw is out there advocating for our children. It is about time someone showed they care about these children and will help parents and students get the appropriate services in place. From what I got about the Superintendent search, this is not Murphy's plan. The whole committee put this plan in place. So as for Craw, Furtado and Parent preventing the city from getting a good superintendent - they seem to be the only who care if we get the best for our city. They did not settle for Durkin and will not settle for another destructive Supt. They will bring Attleboro the best candidate.
Scott Richardson December 14, 2012 at 05:02 AM
I am new to Patch, but not new to watching SC meetings. Mr. Murphy has gone awry for far too long. He was called out on trying to be a committee member of one and this was rightly just. He should his lack of concern for the students by his inappropriate email. This also shows he is trying to for alliances/sides/agendas. I am neutral, but it is so obvious that Mr. Murphy's purpose on the SC is not for the children, but to back administration at all costs. It just saddens me that this is effecting the children. I hope Mr. Murphy finds it in his heart and soul to reflect back and to see the error of his ways. It is not too late for him to change and do the right thing. God forgives and people will forgive you also Mr. Murphy if you make amends. Thank you to the committee members who do care about the children they need people to speak on their behalf. I can see by watching the meetings that Furtado, Parent and Craw have unconditional love for the children of Attleboro and do their best to help our children. Bless you all and thank you.
Stanley Welch December 14, 2012 at 05:13 AM
Why does Murphy keep causing these media issues. Is this what he thrives on. Grow up. A parent speaks out and you are found to be in the wrong and it is the fault of everyone else. Murphy is caught holding back door meetings and it is other committee members faults. Even Parent and Zito, who were members of the group Mruphy spoke at without committee permission, said they knew nothing about him presenting. Murphy decided to show up at this meeting with intention of holding an unapproved focus group. He cannot speak for all committee members without approval. He did not let committee members know about this and other meetings. He has over stepped his boundaries as a school committee member and chair Tyler needs to redirect Mr. Murphy before he ruins the supt search. Who would want to apply and work with a committee member who does things without consent of the full committee. Who would want to work in a city that has an SC member causing controversy at every turn. Mr. Murphy needs to stop the games and get serious for the sake of our children, teachers and schools. Maybe if he had children in school he might understand.
FedEx December 14, 2012 at 06:22 AM
Are you kidding? How can uneducated people hire a new supt. of schools. We need professionals to hire. Focus groups are good for input but,the educators are the ones that know the criteria and the needs of ours schools. The failure of our school board will deter a professional supt. we will have applicants that have tried many schools and we will get rejects. If you are not aware of the process and the job of the supt. you have not a clue of what it takes. I pray among a lot of our community that the current committee doesn't get to make that final descion . They ate disgraceful and unprofessional ! Hopefully others run next time and get out the distraction from the real issues.
Ronda "Roni" Lodge December 14, 2012 at 10:34 AM
This has gotten so off topic. If it weren't for the state requiring that elected officials hold their meetings open to the public, it might give everyone in the group an opportunity to air any bad blood so the meetings with an agenda could run smoothly. No one should be fooled into thinking this doesn't happen in other districts, it happens everywhere. It is when it's in your own back yard that you feel it's the only place on earth that it goes on. It's time for a new superintendent & fixing the problems Attleboro has is long overdue. We have lost a lot of administrators & good teacher during the term of our current Superintendent. Let's not forget, the public voted for this board and will vote again in November. I have to disagree with someone on here that said that Furtado & Craw don't let them get a word in. I have spoken with both of them about separate matters & both were very approachable. Maybe it depends on the approach the person had when they reached out to them? I can't say. I will say that Mr. Parent is overly courtious & I agree, he had a valid point Monday evening. Let's not pick a side but look at the situation. This board needs to run as a group, not a one-man show, no matter who appears to be taking the lead. Murphy, Furtado, it doesn't mattter. No one, not even the Chair person, can run the committee or speak for that committee unless the majority are on board. Now, let's fix the problems we have with our special ed program, it's shamful!
Sarah December 14, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Oh Pat... the wool has been pulled over you eyes. And your arguments couldnt be more weak. The Sisters mearly see what they want to see and fit it all to thier agenda. And Ken is along for the ride , and you as well. They are only caring about ONE Willet kid because it suits them, not because they actually care (take it from me, a Willett Mom who asked them for help and were ignored). Thier puppet Crowder just happens to have a child who go to a program in that school. Heck.. I bet Brenda doesnt even know that part of her Ward 4 goes to Willett!!!.. For the record I watch most of the school committee meeting from the comfort of my home. I also have not one but 2 children who are currently using special education services. It is not an easy process to get the kids what they need, but I do it, perhaps you can search my name and find other commetns I have made about this topic As stated in my previous post, I have contacted both of the Sisters and my concerns fell on deaf ears. I have spoken with Dave, he had done what he has said he would. When asked for a call back, he has done it. What was really nice is that he has the common courtesy to listen and then help. Perhaps he is a litte quirkey, but he is smart, dedicated and POLITE!! I will take that over SNEAKY, rude and disrespectful anyday. Keep up the good work Dave and the rest of the civil SC members.. (Again Ken, stop defending the undefendable. You are a good man, with great ideas and we need you on the SC.. )
Reason December 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM
What's with all the new users with only one comment against Murphy? This article alone has G. Pereria, J McKenna, Mrs. Johnson, Frank Stearns, Nancy S, Louie Costa, Jen Cerrone, Stanley Welch, Pat Woods, Scott Richardson and FedEx. Seems like a well organized smear campaign.
Just sayin' December 14, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Yeah... I wonder if they come from the same IP address too? I can't take any of those comments seriously.
Ronda "Roni" Lodge December 14, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Everyone has the right to comment here, whether they are a new comer or not. I don't think it should depend on what side they are on.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) December 14, 2012 at 01:54 PM
It is not about "what side they are on." There are an alarming number of "first-time" commenters in this thread. You can see yourself, just click on the name and you will see how many comments a user has made. For several of these "people," the number is 1. That's an amazing coincidence that so many people would decide to comment for the first time in this thread. This consistently happens with school committee articles.
Jen Crowder December 14, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I was trying not to comment on here but I feel the need to clarify some things- First, @reason- The weekly school committee open forum IS for addressing new issues as well as whats on the agenda. Special sessions (such as last night) are for directed purposes. You obviously are someones puppet as you have no concept of how things run. And please sir read before you post- My name is Jen CROWDER not Cerrone. If you are going to try and attack someone, at least direct it at the right person. I am no one's puppet in this abomination of a school system. Yes, I go to Ms. Craw as she understands what I am talking about when it comes to IEPS since she has been through this mess. Ms. Furtado is my ward rep. Once again the schools are in non-compliance with my sons IEP and once again I have to file a complaint. Once again the administration did not respond so once again I have to go to the school committee and the Board of Education. It's called the chain of command. And instead of just emailing them all I went to the meeting because others parents NEED to know. Right now there are 2 schools and soon to be 3 with staffing issues for special ed. I may be the most vocal about the issue but I am far from someones puppet and far from the only one with an issue-
Jen Cerrone December 14, 2012 at 04:57 PM
It is comical that Murphy supporters are turning this around on Parent, Craw & Furtado. Murphy caused this & was caught forming sides against another sc member. His political aspirations have gotten out of hand & he forgets what seat he is holding. All the woman that serve on the sc is highly educated. They hold high level jobs & yes, they have college degrees. A sc should not be made of only educators. A degree does not mark your intelligence. Many self made successes didn't go to college & can run circles around people with master degrees or Phd's. We need parents on the sc so that children & their educations are represented. We need an administration that is willing to work with the sc. I know many teachers & they have reached out to sc members including Craw & Furtado & they're disappointed in Administration. Educators are being represented by these 2 members that Murphy supporters are so quick to attack.
Jen Cerrone December 14, 2012 at 04:57 PM
It makes me chuckle when Sarah states that Craw & Furtado ignored her attempts to reach out. They are 2 of the few that do respond. Ask Ms. Crowder if Mr. Murphy responded to her emails. Ask Willett parents about how Mr. O'Neil ignored them when they reached out to him about their principal. When I asked Ms. Craw & Ms. Furtado about ignoring calls or emails from parents, they both said about the same thing. We return all calls & emails, but people will lie to the media in order to support their candidate & make us look bad. They then said that if anyone wants to contact them, they would be more than happy to hear their concerns - even concerns that apply to this article. So Sarah - give them a call. I will follow up with them to see if you reached out. Please do not post lies on here. Do not make up things to try to vindicate a sc member who got caught showing no concern for the students but for trying to disrupt the committee. Stop dragging good people down to defend someone who has done wrong.
Sarah December 14, 2012 at 06:40 PM
love it. Thank you Jonathan!
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) December 14, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Eleven of the above commenters are first-time commenters who created their user accounts shortly before posting. All 11 also have blocked their IP addresses (a blocked IP address is not the norm). One can reach his/her own conclusion on what this means. My conclusion is that comments will no longer be accepted for this article.

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