Letter: Southington Women for Progress protest BOE member’s posts

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To the editor:

On behalf of members of Southington Women for Progress, made up of more than 100 parents and residents of Southington who care deeply about the well-being of our children, I am writing to express our concern with the Feb. 16 comments made by Board of Education member Joe Baczewkski on Southington Talks.

In response to a post by State Rep. Liz Linehan, which included a link to the National Association for School Psychologists, “Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers,” Baczewski wrote that there are “a lot more meaningful things you can put energy into”, and then referred to Linehan as a “buffoon.”

For a member of the Board of Education to state in a public forum that sharing age-appropriate ways to discuss the tragedy of school shootings with our children is not meaningful, is disrespectful to all those who struggle to find words to explain the senseless violence of mass shootings in schools to our children. It is also beyond the bounds of decency—and in violation of the Board of Education’s policy on bullying for students—to act overtly against another with the intent to ridicule or humiliate.

We hope that the leadership of the Board of Education can take the appropriate steps to educate Baczewski on how to conduct himself on social media with respect and sensitivity towards all who he was elected to serve.

Erica Roggeveen Byrne, Southington Women for Progress founder

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