Letter: Special ed comments uncalled for

To the Editors:

I would like to address comments made by Walter Kress at the April 3 Board of Finance meeting. As a parent of three Wilton school children, one of whom receives special education services, I am upset by Mr. Kress’s generalizations, assumptions and frankly, his offensive personal comments.

First, his comments alleging lack of preparedness by parents and staff prior to PPTs are troublesome. Mr. Kress should not have access to the kind of information necessary to support this type of statement. This means, therefore, that Mr. Kress is either uttering unfounded personal opinions publicly in his capacity as a Board of Finance member, or he is privy to confidential information regarding specific PPT meetings, which he should not have access to unless he was a participant. Either way, Mr. Kress made a broad, sweeping generalization that was not in keeping with his role on the Board of Finance.

Second, and far more troubling, was Mr. Kress’s comment stating there are numerous children on the “periphery” who are taking advantage of the system. This is mere conjecture on Mr. Kress’s part as he neither has authority, nor access to specific information, to judge which, and how many children should receive special services, and what specific services are appropriate for each specific child. As the parent of a child Mr. Kress would consider “on the periphery,” I am irked by Mr. Kress’s accusation that my child may be “gaming the system” and is not entitled to the services he receives. He has no idea the struggles my son faces on a daily basis, or those of the other nameless children on the “periphery.” As such, he has no basis for his observation, and therefore, should not make these sweeping, unfounded judgments about parents and children in town, especially in the context of a budget vote.

Mr. Kress mentioned he is the only BOF member with a child in the schools. I do not think personal observations, however, should be the metric Mr. Kress uses to support his vote on a budget. In the future, the town will be better served if Mr. Kress keeps his personal, baseless opinions to himself.

Lisa Smith

Wilton, April 5