I’m a sucker for year-end lists. Some folks like ’em and some hate ’em! Most of the articles that generated the most hits were ones where I either broke a story on or offered a perspective that couldn’t be found elsewhere. One story generated so much controversy I had to put all comments in moderation! District salaries became very popular and the hits on those continue to grow every single day since I posted those last March. Sadly, the subject of one of my articles was myself. Continue reading
I’ve been blogging for almost four years. In all those years, I have never blocked anyone from ever commenting again on this blog. In reaction to the post about the Delaware Spa Party and State Rep. Mike Ramone, one commenter crossed the line in a major way. I’ve developed thick skin over the years but what I will NEVER tolerate is someone going after my family. Especially my son. This person wrote “Do you even have a kid who has special needs !! You are con -artist !!”. I initially left the post up because I know this person and believe her to have good intentions but bad judgment. But as her comments continued, including out-and-out lies, I had to take them down. It is not something I like doing at all.
While many in Delaware seem to be angry at me over the Nudist Party post and the ramifications of that post, this blog is primarily about education. I will fully admit this post was out of my usual realm. It was not mean-spirited in nature or meant to be some personal attack against Rep. Ramone. When I received the tip, and saw the accompanying verbiage on the website and Twitter account, it suggested something entirely different than what Ramone talked about on WDEL. Had it been completely innocent in appearance the way Ramone made it out to be, I wouldn’t have touched it. But obviously, Ramone agreed with that sentiment and the nudist party was shut down. While some described my post as “Puritanical” in nature and that I pre-emptively judged Ramone, I tend to use some humor and sarcasm in posts at times. Most of what I write is about bad things so for my own sanity I try to inject some levity in posts. And let’s face it, a post about a state legislator that owns a business that hosts nudist parties is not something you read about every day.
Ramone suggested in his interview with Dan Gaffney that he questioned the motives behind this. He mentioned it was done in an election year. If I truly wanted to crush Ramone in an election year, I would have put this post out right before a primary if he faced one or closer to the General Election. As I mentioned in a comment, I don’t have a beef against Ramone. I don’t always agree with his bills but there are some I’ve liked. I’ve joked with Ramone at Legislative Hall at times. I am not a diehard Republican nor am I a staunch Liberal. I’ve said this a million times but the banned commenter seems to think I am working for some Liberal agenda here. One commenter demanded I apologize to Ramone. I thought about it all morning, and yes, I will apologize to Mike Ramone publicly. I’m sorry my post led to a decision that destroyed a 25 year tradition at your place of business. If this was truly an innocent and “kind” gesture (as Ramone repeatedly said in his radio interview) it is certainly a shame it is now gone. But that was not my decision. It was my decision to write about it. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine WDEL would pick up on it and talk about it to the extent they have in the past few days. I’ve seen other Delaware political blogs write about very outlandish and crazy stuff without that kind of attention drawn to it. But I understand this blog resonates with many parents, teachers, legislators, students, and Delaware citizens because the heart of it is about education.
As for the commenter, I sent that person a private message indicating why I blocked her. I truly hope she understands but that is her own conscience she needs to grapple with and I certainly hope she has a moment with herself and the way she projects herself. Others have expressed the same thoughts about her to me. I don’t believe she is a bad person but terribly misguided. This is what modern politics has done to many people. It is a true shame. So many people in this country have morphed into one side and one side only. There are ALWAYS gray areas.
Meanwhile, I will continue to write…
For years, the online denizens of Kilroy’s Delaware have been subjected to the very pro corporate education reform rants of Publius, aka Henry Clampitt. Clampitt served on the Board of Directors for the Charter School of Wilmington for many years until he “resigned” with no explanation given to the public whatsoever. The CSW Board is usually very tight and tends to have many of the same folks on the board for years at a time.
Clampitt also serves on the Legislative Advisory Committee for the Delaware Charter Schools Network. Clampitt has been in this role since some point last year. Clampitt is very “pro-choice” when it comes to a parent’s ability to choose what school their child attends. I believe this to be admirable, however, given his inability to fully understand how certain charter schools enrollment preferences have adversely affected segregation and discrimination in the Wilmington, DE area, it is an advocacy based on wrong intentions. Having served on the Delaware Enrollment Preferences Task Force, Clampitt firmly believed in placement tests prior to admission at schools like CSW.
Clampitt and I have gone toe to toe on Kilroy’s Delaware going on two years now. He is vicious in his attack methods, going so far as to make fun of people’s physical features while hiding behind his online moniker.
A few months ago, someone opened a Twitter account under the name of Henry Clampitt with a twitter handle of @publiusedecere, which is also his name on Kilroy’s Delaware. Nobody knows who posted this Twitter account, but it disappeared within 24 hours. For many, it is no secret who Publius really is.
When this Twitter account opened, it was in the middle of a major battle between two bills pending in the Delaware General Assembly concerning charter school audits. On one side was State Rep. Kim Williams and the other was Senator David Sokola. Williams’ bill passed the House last year. Sokola introduced his bill in January. Many felt (which I agree with) that Sokola’s bill weakened Williams’ bill. At the Senate Education Committee meeting on Sokola’s bill, Williams and Kathleen Davies from the State Auditor’s office faced off against Sokola, Clampitt, and Kendall Massett from the Delaware Charter Schools Network. Neither bill has gone up for a vote in the Senate since that meeting.
Clampitt attacked Rep. Williams in his “anonymous” blog comments on Kilroy’s Delaware. If I were a guessing man, I would say Clampitt finally pushed someone over the edge which resulted in this fake Twitter account days later. Many people sent me the link to this Twitter account. I was shocked that someone went to that level of creativity to out Clampitt, but I wasn’t surprised.
As our little war has progressed over on Kilroy’s, Clampitt has recently started an online campaign to attack me whenever he gets a chance. If nothing is even discussed in one of Kilroy’s article, as seen recently with some of his posts about Donald Trump, Clampitt will come out of nowhere in his vain attempts to demean me. This is why I feel some perspective is needed for those reading Kilroy’s Delaware. Clampitt has made this personal because he seems to be out to “get me”. I don’t mind anonymous commenters unless you cross that line too many times. I’ve written about Publius and Clampitt on here, but never together. Kilroy has done the same.
Many have felt Clampitt, based on his comments, did himself in with the board at CSW. Others, including myself, feel he can be very racist or discriminatory in his attempts to win an argument. Many are just plain disgusted with his online antics. Words such as “cocky” and “arrogant” are the labels I hear the most when others speak about Publius/Clampitt.
It has been highly rumored that he will attempt a run for the Red Clay Consolidated School Board next year, and will run against President Kenny Rivera. This is something many in the Wilmington community seem to be dead against. I’ve seen Clampitt a couple times. Once at an Enrollment Preference Task Force meeting, and the other at a Red Clay board meeting. When surrounded by his buddies in the charter community, Clampitt can tend to be very vocal. But at Red Clay, he is very quiet and reserved.
Clampitt seems to be offended by anyone who disagrees with him. He seems to have a particular hate for myself and Christina board member John Young. He is also a fierce believer in standardized testing. When asked about this, he states the same mantra all who support high-stakes testing: “We need to close the achievement gap.” The very same achievement gap that has widened even further as a result of tests like the Smarter Balanced Assessment. He believes opt out is wrong and opposes it on every single level. He takes cheap shot at concerned parents who don’t believe a standardized test is a good measure of academic ability.
Together with his online supporters on Kilroy’s, he has turned what used to be a good place to have earnest discussions about education into a place where many are so offended they don’t come back anymore. I refuse to leave Kilroy’s “kitchen table” because of a cyber bully. But I will not continue to be mocked by a man who has so many inherent conflicts of interest. If this means I am no longer invited to Kilroy’s, so be it. But I am a firm believer in defending myself when attacked as voraciously as Publius has done. Last summer, he went way over the line when he attacked my son’s disability. I wanted to write this then, but I held back. But as the attacks intensified the past couple months, I felt it was time to take a stand. If he wants to continue to be a coward thinking he is protected by hiding behind his oh-so-original blog commenter handle over on Kilroy’s, that is his prerogative. But in the real world, we all know who you are.
It is time to put a face to the name of Publius…
I received a comment tonight from someone under the pseudonym “education only”. When I receive a comment from a new poster, it goes into moderation. That way this blog isn’t a free-for-all. The information I received tonight was very specific in nature. It was definitely, if true, very big information. One that could change the landscape of education in Delaware. But I need more than your say-so and an email address that isn’t real. Cause I did email you, but it said email returned. This usually makes me suspicious. I can think of three reasons why you did this.
1) The information is very real and you are scared out of your mind. I can’t say I blame you given the nature of what you said. If this is the case, it should be very easy to reach out to me and you have my strictest confidence. Information like that should not be reserved for a comment and I will investigate it. And the truth will come out.
2) Part of the story is true, and you are seeing how I react to it. This is the reaction. And I would still like you to contact me with a REAL email address. There is such a thing as blogger honor. Ask any of my sources if I’ve ever revealed them. Well, you can’t, cause I never revealed them. Which is my point. But this is for anyone giving me information, especially on an ongoing basis. Let me know ahead of time if it is “off the record” or “okay to publish”.
3) You deliberately gave me the information thinking I would run an article on it and make a big stink about it, all the while you would have known it was false information. If that’s the case, then you definitely have an axe to grind with me. I get that. I’ve made more enemies than friends lately on this blog. I haven’t shied away from naming names and calling people out for their actions. But if this is the case, do the courageous thing and actually contact me. Sneak attacks trying to discredit me through anonymous blog comments may be your stock in trade, but I’m not that stupid. You won’t be the first, and I’m sure you won’t be the last. You are operating under the assumption that I will do anything to get buzz on this blog. If that’s the case, then you’ve missed the whole point of why I do this.
A few months back, there was a commenter on here and Kilroy’s Delaware who was using multiple names on both our blogs. Kilroy and I both knew it was the same person. I’ve even reached out to a few people about the danger of doing that. Anonymity has it’s purpose, but be consistent with it. A good source is just that, and the wealth of information they can provide is always more important than outing them. I always recommend sending emails from non-work addresses. This is for your protection. I have many ways of protecting information, and I will always do that as long as it is a two-way street. But getting into the deeper side of things, if you play games with your anonymity, I will call you out on it, publicly or privately. That’s just how I roll.
Given the nature of what I often write about, I’m sure you can understand my reasons for this. Just as I understand the reasons behind being anonymous. But if I can’t verify information, I won’t put it on here. There are certain folks who give me information and they get a pass. They’ve earned it, time and time again. There are those who I wonder about, and where they are getting their information from. You will rarely see stories based on this kind of information. And then there is the completely outlandish and bizarre info I get. But today’s commenter struck a chord with me, for many reasons. Some you may one day find out, or it will disappear into the abyss never to be seen by anyone. Your move “education only”.