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Letters to Editor

3/16/23

To the editor:

 

Have we already forgotten the embarrassment and trauma we experienced last spring resulting from the KASD decision to investigate three young students for sexual harassment for “mispronouning”, which isn’t even a word, yet alone a sexual crime?

 

An Open Records Request was made to see the School Board’s “thorough internal investigation” of the fiasco, which they proudly told us proves there was no wrongdoing. Is there any good reason why that public document requested back in October can’t be redacted and released in the next 48 hours? Why not prove innocence? Should we vote for candidates that conceal this public information?

 

I am routinely attacked for asking such questions, as are the mostly Christian women of TCC. This is telling.

 

To my knowledge, not one of our detractors has ever condemned Mike Samuel, including “Best for Kids” or the establishment school board members he tirelessly supported.  Yet Samuel has repeatedly posted memes of their political opponents that literally illustrate violence, murder, bloodshed, racism, and interestingly enough TNT around “Kiel Schools”.  You can see for yourself a small collection of the violence themed memes reported to the Manitowoc Sheriff at www.TCCwi.org.

 

 

 

Incidentally, it was Samuel’s fictitious social media buddy Karl Huber who requested the identities of legitimate petition signers from the district office.  Rest assured, the names of the 837 decent concerned citizens will never be turned over to Kiel’s social media goons or their allies.

 

For the record, I condemn all violence and bullying, including that of the Kiel trolls. Further, I am actively fighting to end the resurgence of racism in America both locally and nationally.  “Liberty and justice for all” is not a slogan, it’s a guiding principle.

 

My detractors have rightfully asked “what would happen if Matt Piper was on the school board?”  Is someone with decades of professional experience who already knows the policies, asks good questions, is only in it for the students, and doesn’t have any hidden skeletons to protect really a threat to our system? 

 

I’ve made no secret of my opinion that our high school’s overall state rating of 53/100 is far too low. A school that achieves no better than “fails to meet expectations” is wasting taxpayer dollars, not to mention student potential. Am I alone?

 

Our district administrator repeatedly tells us our scores are “reason to celebrate”, and a group of employees advises the public they’ll quit if he gets fired, which no board members proposed. Despite the report card scores, our School Board majority tells us our district administrator’s performance is “exemplary”, just ignore the $142,500.00 settlement (known only thanks to an Open Records Request) that was just paid out to atone for KASD’s culture of willful indifference to racial harassment and bullying. These are all troubling facts. Is anyone ever held accountable around here?

 

Facts notwithstanding, I believe that with proper incentives Dr. Ebert is the District’s best bet to get our high school back on track for success.  If Brad is willing to propose a realistic plan that guarantees specific results within a specific timeframe, with specific measurable milestones along the way, I will wholeheartedly support his efforts to do so. We owe Dr. Ebert that courtesy, and we owe the students the best we can offer.

 

Also know that KASD is facing tens of millions of dollars in facility maintenance costs over the next few years.  As a Wisconsin state licensed professional architect for thirty years, I am uniquely qualified to head up the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Board of Education. Professional competency at the owner’s level will leverage our tax payer funds, which will result in lower tax demands and/or increased student investment potential. What will happen if Matt Piper is not on the School Board?

 

If you believe everything is just fine the way it is at KASD, if you don’t want to know what’s going on behind the walls, there is no reason not to vote for the incumbents and Tony, they voted in lockstep every single time. That team guarantees you more of what’s been delivered over the years, including the “meets few expectations” high school rating.

 

But if you think our students should be getting a much better education at our taxpayer funded schools, there is only one team that values accountability. Remember, despite his outstanding resume, Henry “Tre” Waldren was passed over by Dan’s Board when they recently appointed their friends instead.

 

Mike, Matt & Tre will be fair, and represent the best we have to offer our students.

Enough is enough!

 

Matt Piper

Kiel

Letters to Editor

3/2/23

 

To the editor:

 

A formal complaint was recently filed documenting twelve violations in the KASD, and the Board of Education only responded to one issue, and refuses to discuss any of the others ever, “case closed”.  What if our students answered questions like that?

 

Worse yet, the one answered question actually admits wrongdoing and reveals in writing the Board’s systemic belief that employee policy violations are acceptable as long as the Board is in on it. See for yourself at www.TCCwi.org, and note that Mike Joas stood alone and refused to sign the outrageous response (LINK)

What about traumatizing three young students with an investigation of sexual harassment for “mispronouning”, which isn’t even a word, let alone a sexual crime? That’s not a pipeline full of future lawsuits like the Wempner’s?

 

The district refused to even consider the facts in a formal complaint regarding that fiasco, because they declared the “case closed” already.  That’s certainly not ethical, is it legal?

 

Even worse, the Board has refused to disclose the “thorough internal investigation” they supposedly produced of the sexual harassment fiasco last summer, a public document they claim proves there was no wrongdoing. Why keep proof of innocence a secret? Wisconsin law says public documents must be redacted and disclosed upon request, reasonably within ten days.

 

Public records show KASD pays a combined benefit package of $200,000 per year to our district administrator, but Dr. Ebert is too busy with extra-curricular activities to answer open records requests, so we must also pay an attorney $300/hr to do that same job. She is inexplicably seven months behind with some requests, but she did release in record time 52 pages of emails requested last December by a known internet troll who politically supports Tony and the incumbents, and did his predictable dirty work with the documents on social media.

 

Don’t kid yourself, our district is playing political games at the expense of students and taxpayers, and the players are anything but “moderates”.  Don’t hold your breath if you rightfully expect answers before the upcoming election.

 

On top of everything, remember we’re in the bottom 1% in Wisconsin when it comes to Language Arts and Mathematics “Growth” in our high school. In this critical area our rate of progress “fails to meet expectations” after years of “everything is awesome”. That’s certainly 400 students trapped in a wreck.

 

Look, a fun bus driver is great, but it’s perfectly reasonable to expect him to do his job thoroughly and get the students safely to their destination without breaking laws, teeing up lawsuits, or crashing the bus over and over. That’s what we’re paying him $200,000 per year to do.

 

Personally, I would care less who supervises the bus as long as the students are performing at least average and our school board leaders are effective, fair, and stop playing political games with students and taxpayers. Based on evidence, I believe that will never happen with the current Board of Education at KASD. Never.

 

Do you know where our schools have really been the last few years?

Where they are right now?

After years of best efforts, are we leading our students to a high school that meets our collective minimum standards, or should we be doing much better for them?

 

Enough is enough!

 

Matt Piper

Kiel

Letters to Editor

1/26/23

 

To the Editor:

Things just went from bad to worse at the Kiel Area School District.

 

After a year of partisan attacks and several particularly unruly public meetings, two elected officials of the Board of Education resigned this January. With unethical tactics working so effectively, there is no reason to believe our bullying problems will go away any time soon, or that the vote of the majority even matters anymore.

 

Yet one group tells us all is well, as evidenced they claim by our administrator’s popularity, fancy Astroturf, and a theater addition. Note that the “all is well" mentality is requisite; otherwise no one would vote to re-elect incumbents. 

 

Even though we all know our community votes roughly 50/50 regarding political issues, we're told public BOE meetings held hostage by loud organized special interest factions represent the entire community. Obviously, it’s just not true.

 

A more objective group invites us to think for ourselves and evaluate results objectively. They point to the high school state report card overall score of 53/100 where 47/100 is failure, and the even lower 24/100 academic growth score. They call out those that cherry-pick “one of the largest jumps in ATC scores in the state”.  Incumbents hope we don’t realize our overall scores got so alarmingly low in the first place after many years of current leadership.

 

And then there are the objective results of policy violations, like the controversial GLEC/MAPS mandatory diversity lessons being forced onto every single student in the district despite the written objections of 837 concerned citizens.  

 

If the often echoed fallacy that there is no evidence of wrongdoing amongst our administration or board is not rebutted, some trusting individuals might continue to be misled. How much was forked over for the recent Wempner lawsuit settlement by the way?

 

As a public service, a formal complaint with just a few itemized policy violations has been filed with the district, including substantiating documents, and released for immediate public access to both the Tri-County News and www.TCCwi.org.

 

We sweep big things under the carpet at the KASD. Does this benefit our students? Will violating policies and repeating the same old actions year after year ever produce different results? Are future lawsuits piling up? Those that say we've been led to exactly where we are, that things are getting progressively worse year after year, present an argument worthy of discussion.  The first step to solving big problems is admitting you have them.

 

Last year the majority played by the rules and voted for change. Now that the ousted regime has seized majority control again due to unethical tactics, it is impossible to promise anyone that another vote for change will have the intended impact. But for those that agree change is more necessary now than ever, Mike Joas and Matt Piper are willing to serve on the Board of Education.

 

I ask those that care to, please pray for the students and citizens of the KASD, and that God's will be done.

 

Matt Piper

Kiel

Letters to Editor

November 10, 2022

To the editor:

 

Whether you acknowledge it or not KASD citizens, our district is very political.

 

Kiel High School’s most recent overall state report card score was 50.3/100, where 47 is failure. This was the culmination of a four year downward trend, and it wasn’t until TCC researched and publicly revealed those facts that an academic intervention was suddenly implemented, and improvement began. (Link A). Righteous politics has a positive impact on students.

 

Just days after the DPI published the shocking high school grades, superintendent Ebert sent an email to parents and the community stating “Our school district once again ‘exceeded expectations’ on the state report card. This is a reason to celebrate, as this is the fourth year in a row that our school district has met this level of achievement.” That’s politics. (Link B)

 

It is well documented at KASD that public documents have repeatedly been leaked almost instantly to incumbent supporters, but almost everyone else must wait over 3 months for access via open records requests (ORRs). (Link C ) It appears the political calculation is that a few hand slaps for unjustifiable delays are far preferable to disclosing proof of numerous systemic performance failures, and then facing the consequences in April. That’s politics.

 

Remember too, after months of deafening silence, how the BOE finally weighed in about last summer’s ideological sexual harassment investigation. The Board made a wishy washy political statement that “process” was “followed” by staff, and craftily avoided the words analysis, determination, compliance, and certification. (Link D) So we can expect more federal investigations for “mispronouning”, which isn’t even a word in the dictionary. (Link E1 & E2)

 

The BOE also declared they will not discuss the summer fiasco further with anyone at any time, period. The case is closed, but the months old ORR regarding the economic impact on Kiel has yet to be answered. (Link F1 & F2) We can trust the BOE because non-binding corrective steps are being “considered”. Again controversy is swept under the rug, and again nothing changes. No one will be held accountable. (Link G) That’s politics.

 

How many voters know there has been an ongoing political attempt to intimidate and silence the three newest BOE members since their first public meeting? The campaign is led by the founder of a state registered independent expenditure political committee originally known on facebook as “Elect what is best for Kids in the KASD”. (Link H ) Records show they spent over $4,000 to endorse KASD BOE incumbents last April. (Link J )

 

ElectBFKIK’s triumphal political moment finally came at the recent KASD Annual Meeting when they made a motion to censure the sitting BOE President Randy Olm. Randy’s real crime? He dared to be elected President by his BOE peers. ElectBFKIK’s shameless sour grapes attack obviously had nothing to do with students. Nonetheless, dignifying the foul political motion with a vote, the assembled 1% very nearly voted their approval to cancel the will of the entire KASD electorate.

 

Who’s really all about politics, and preventing us from becoming the best district possible?

 

2022 Annual Meeting highlights can be viewed at https://www.tccwi.org/kasdboeinformation

 

Matt Piper

Kiel

Letters to Editor

October 26, 2022

To the editor,

 

Once again Kiel is targeted, this time about a lawsuit, in a one sided political narrative concocted by a hopelessly partisan California “journalist” slinging his mud all the way from Milwaukee. KASD BOE members Meyer and Long should be given every opportunity to clarify their quotes, because the big city spinmeister tried to make them sound like dopes! (Link)

 

That author claims Meyers claims it was a mistake to entertain the concerns of 837 citizens who documented that GLEC/MAPS is an openly racist organization (Link). He also said “The claims were based on a political agenda that had nothing to do with our school district”, making it sound like Dan was accusing the 837 of not being genuinely concerned about our students. Dan wouldn’t insult so many neighbors like that.

 

In the same spin piece the ethically challenged author makes it sound like BOE member Long accuses the entire community of not caring about the real problem. Don’t worry Stuart; the community has not lost the whole reason for the new curriculum. The community knows what the manipulative big city author is trying to hide, and what he failed to mention.

 

We remember the email Dr. Ebert shared with the community back in September 2020 where he wrote “…the district did respond to a bullying/harassment complaint filed by a parent…and has taken appropriate actions in which I am very comfortable with.” We now know he was talking about the Wempner situation, and the case was closed.

 

We know an ACLU lawyer responded and advised the DPI that “…the nonbinding steps outlined in Dr. Ebert’s letter are inadequate to prevent the likely recurrence of both student racial harassment and improper district response.” (Link)

 

We remember that the negotiated settlement soon followed, and the resulting CAP was signed to cover the acknowledged shortcomings of the original KASD “closed case”.  (Link)

 

We know the CAP is noncompliant with multiple KASD policies, yet the 2021 BOE intentionally followed it to the letter in a second attempt to “close the case”. (Link) We know the KASD claimed innocence because their hands were tied, after they tied their hands themselves with the CAP they negotiated.

 

We know the result of it all is a BOE approved controversial curriculum mandated for every single k-12 KASD student, sourced from an organization that believes ALL humans with pale flesh are intrinsically oppressors. (Link) We remember the May 6, 2021 Tri-County News article quoting Dr. Ebert as stating “I am excited to partner with them (GLEC/MAPS). This group feels like a knowledgeable group to work with.” 837 simply disagree.

 

Further, we know these BOE decisions will not result in less racism, and that was never the real purpose of bringing GLEC/MAPS in anyway.

 

Most importantly, with the recent lawsuit we know this repeatedly “closed case” from two years ago is still costing us dearly today.

 

The good news is students have concerned citizens watching out for them. The links can be found at www.tccwi.org/publiccommunications.

 

Matt Piper,

Kiel

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