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Kidd Apologizes for Comments

The Republican member of the Board of Education says she was frustrated and reacted with clouded judgement and poorly chosen words.

, the Republican member of the Board of Education who has been at the center of controversy since allegations surfaced last week that she , a Democratic member  of the school board, sent the following message to Board of Education members this afternoon: 

Regards,
Merrill Kidd

Mrs. Luxenberg,

I want to offer an unqualified apology for the comments I made to you. Even more so, I want to extend my apologies to the public and fellow BOE members. I allowed our prior communications and my frustration with the handling of Nathan Hale School to cloud my judgment and my words were poorly chosen. Political differences aside, I know I must take responsibility for the improper tone of my comments for our Board to get back to business. Once again, I'm sorry for what I said, and be assured that it won't happen again.

I do feel compelled however to share with you, as a fellow BOE member, some of my concerns related to . As a new board member, I fear that I placed too much trust in the judgment of more experienced members, who, in retrospect, appear to have made it their agenda to permanently close the school even before resolving several troubling issues. First, how much more restricted and limited will our Federal Title I monies be after the school closes? Second, what will the student re-districting plan look like? You may recall a previous school closing vote was reversed after parent reaction to the plan. Finally, and most importantly, is permanently closing a school with favorable student to teacher ratios and improving test scores really beneficial for the education of those children?! Through my own research I discovered that the five most improved elementary schools in Connecticut enjoyed similarly favorably staffing ratios.

I look forward to putting this chapter behind us and getting back to work for Manchester’s students.

Sincerely,

Merrill Kidd

Luxenberg could not be immediately reached for comment Friday afternoon. 

Lou Lange February 24, 2012 at 10:55 PM
I am very glad Ms. Kidd offered an apology...however, rehashing the agenda within the note of apology was unnecessary. Time to move on!
Jen Morse LaPlant February 25, 2012 at 12:39 AM
This doesn't even sound like a real apology.
Frank February 25, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Yes Lou and Jen, I call Galligannigans again. This doesn't seem like a real apology, unqualified apologies don't contain qualifications about Nathan Hale. Also am I the only one who had no idea the rants were about Nathan Hale? This apology is not written in the voice that you can read in the Facebook exchanges. All "Kidding" aside I question if Ms Kidd wrote this apology or if it was written by Mr. Galligan, just saying. Also burying the apology by sending it out on a Friday afternoon, that doesn't fool anybody... Friday afternoon releases are for resignations and firings not apologies. This just isnt good enough, its a day late and a dollar short, Manchester deserves better.
Jackie Madore February 25, 2012 at 03:38 AM
I am glad that Mrs. Kidd has apologized to the public, BOE and to Mrs. Luxenberg but I have to agree with Lou and Jen, it does not sound sincere. To bring up the Nathan Hale issue during her apology and how the decision was made by the BOE to close the school seems out of place and uncalled for. First, the decision to close the school was made on February 1. It took Mrs. Kidd seven days to respond to this via face book to Mrs. Luxenberg. Plus, the decision was to close the school for the 2012-2013 school year. No one voted for it be closed permanently. I know this because I was in attendance at the meeting in question. Dr. Kisel's recommendation to the BOE was to not open the school for the 2012-2013 school year. They heeded his advice and thought of the families and students first. Dr. Kisiel also stated he was already working on a placement plan for the students from Nathan Hale and was hoping to have it done by the end of February. I do hope that this issue is finally resolved, that Mrs. Kidd has learned her lesson and she will keep her comments for face to face discussions. It is time to move forward and work on giving our students the education they deserve.
James T. February 25, 2012 at 05:18 AM
I totally agree with previous comments, it doesn't sound like the same voice nor does it sound sincere. I read the Facebook posts and Nathan Hale was never mentioned. Also the posts were sent between 2:30 and 3:00 am. I wouldn't be surprised if alcohol was a factor.
Jon Crickmore February 25, 2012 at 12:45 PM
This is such a joke. Who cares about her apology who care if she was drunk or not. We should be talking about Kidd getting a free pass for threatening. We should be asking why she got a free pass. If any student did what she did they would have been arrested suspended and most likely expelled. This is another example of business as usual. No accountability for our so called leaders.
Lexi Veritas February 25, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I have tried to stay above the fray on this issue but I am compelled to make a statement on the heels of a Friday afternoon release of an "apology". I agree wholeheartedly with many of the previous statements. This barely qualifies as an apology and is certainly not an unqualified one. The tone and tenor do not seem to match that of any of the previous writings or comments made by the alleged author. But all of that aside, I agree with Jon. This is a much larger issue of leadership and accountability. Taking the sensational side of this story out of play, we have the leaders of a struggling school system who need to focus on making decisions about what is best for the students and employees so that education comes first. This has been a huge distraction to that purpose and the leaders, particularly those that defended Ms. Kidd repeatedly prior to this release, have not provided appropriate leadership. In a previous release Mr. Galligan referenced that Ms. Kidd's membership on the BOE was the will of the people, and that attempts to shame her into resigning was flying in the face of that will. I can assure all involved, that the voters will remember this incident and they will see the will of the people then.
Reader February 27, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Ms. Kidd's behavior is simply unacceptable. Period. Were at teacher in town to do the same, he / she would be let go - or at the very least given disciplinary measures. This behavior is totally unprofessional and an embarassment to the town and educators.
Michael Farina March 01, 2012 at 11:52 PM
The Deputy Commissioner of DEEP just had to resign because he left a harassing voicemail to someone. Here is the text of that voicemail: "We are calling from the Democratic Electronic Monitoring Service. We understand that you are an e-mailer with respect to Democratic candidates. We wish you to know that your e-mails are being observed. Thank you." If something like that can force a resignation from a top state official, the same should be required of a local official who left messages that were far worse. I'm sure Jonathan Schrag (the Deputy Commissioner in question) felt sorry about his actions too, but today he is out of a job. So, too, should Merrill Kidd.
JC Parkins March 02, 2012 at 02:11 AM
I feel that everyone should back down and move past this. It's time to drop this crusade against Ms. Kidd. As someone who actually agrees that the closing of Nathan Hale is an absolute disgrace. So if Ms. Kidd's anger and frustration is so strong about the demise of Nathan Hale, well then quite frankly I understand and feel the same way. With regard to the incident on Facebook, let's not forget that these were personal messages sent privately to an adult from another adult. The messages were never intended to be showcased to the media. It is crystal clear that the recipient of the messages felt the need to retaliate against Ms. Kidd, and in doing so has caused a great deal of unnecessary drama and torment. The retaliation appears more to be far more of a vengeful act than the initial incident that lead to this. It is simply a shame to keep dragging this incident further and further through the mud. An apology has been made which should mark this end of this incident. As previously mentioned, let's move on from this, it's time to focus on more serious school-related issues such as the fate of Nathan Hale. That entire situation seems highly suspect. It seems very apparent that the school was deliberately set up to meet it's demise by past and current officials. Crucial repairs could have been implemented to sustain it, but it's obvious there was blatant neglect and most likely purposely done so to create an excuse to shutter it.

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