Details are still coming in on the controversial Delaware PTA Parent Opt-Out Town Hall from Thursday night. One member of the audience saw how heated this meeting was going to be so they recorded it. This same individual also went to the trouble of transcribing the incident with the member of the audience who is being referred to on social media as Mr. Brandywine.
First of all I’d just like to say thank you to the parents that came out tonight. I work for the Brandywine School District and it means a lot to see you here, expressing your concerns around the amount of testing. But, I sit here and I look across the room and I see a teacher that I used to work with, Sabrina Fitzhugh, who I think is an outstanding teacher. I think if every parent sat here, you can run through the outstanding teachers that your children have in the public school systems. And please be cognizant of the unintended consequence that opting out will have. Cause I sit here and I think, ‘when Sabrina gets her evaluation and some of the top performing students in her class opt out, Sabrina has to live with maybe a rating that doesn’t reflect….. (at this point several people became irate and were flabbergasted by what he was saying.) And, and I share the concern on the amount of testing and I just want to be clear (Someone from the audience, I believe her name was Meg Eldred, a teacher in the Christina School District, stated that opting out was nothing personal against the teacher) and I know that… (there was more grumbling from the audience. Terri Hodges called for the audience to be respectful of him and to allow him to speak. To which, the audience questioned WHY he was being given the floor at all. He was not a member of the panel and no other member of the audience had been given the right to speak, outside of the questions that were asked on the index cards, except to clarify a question that was asked) I will be the first one to share your concern on the amount of testing, right? But there are ripple effects and I want that to be heard not just to the parents, but I think that we all need to be cognizant of that because we do have outstanding teachers. So, please bare that in mind.
Mr. Brandywine was later identified as Brandywine Assistant Superintendent of Academics, Lincoln Hohler. A message was left for Mr. Holher yesterday for comment on this issue, but no call has been returned at this point.