Thursday, 08 June 2017 12:54

Strain Between Saratoga Schools and Parents Continues

By Gabriel M. Stirton | Education

SARATOGA SPRINGS – There have been new developments in the ongoing strain between the Saratoga Springs High School administration and local parents since the May 23rd edition of Saratoga TODAY, in which we covered the story of a local group of conservative women, the “Saratoga Conservative Chicks,” who took matters into their own hands when confronted with what they saw as severe bias in the Saratoga school system.

When a teacher gave an assignment comparing President Trump to both Hitler and Mussolini, matters rose quickly to the national spotlight. This led to two of the women, Marnie Messet and Julie Tellstone, appearing on “Fox and Friends.”

Subsequently, the Saratoga Springs City School District released an official statement, giving an account of the assignment, and an explanation, claiming that it did not violate any school policies. This provided no resolution to the parents involved, as the statement’s description of the homework assignment seemed to be at odds with the assignment itself.

As a result, the women involved met with school officials to discuss these and other matters. The first was their disappointment with the inaccuracy of the school's public statement regarding the assignment in question when compared to the assignment itself. The second was the unprofessional behavior of the teacher who gave the assignment, and allegedly used the classroom as a platform to refer to the parents who appeared on Fox News as “fascists,” even with the 10th grade child of one of those women present. Finally, while the school had released an official statement, the parents had never been responded to personally by the school, despite their attempts to reach out to the district about the high profile nature of the issue.

The aforementioned meeting was concluded with the school official’s assurances that the controversial assignment would not be included in next year’s curriculum, and that the instructor guidelines would be updated to prevent similar events from occurring in the future. When reached out to, a representative of the Saratoga school system confirmed that the assignment would see no future use. The representative also stated that the district's curriculum council had developed a guidance document for teaching controversial topics. However, nothing was mentioned of the teacher who had given the assignment and made accusations against the parents.

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