http://mv-voice.com/print/story/print/2009/04/10/letters-to-the-editor


Mountain View Voice

Opinion - April 10, 2009

Letters to the Editor

In defense of Patty Polifrone

Editor:

My son had Pat Polifrone 12 years ago when she was teaching the second grade class in the PACT program at Slater School. He was the youngest in the class by a whole year because of his birthday. She was tough and she expected her students to strive to be the best that they could be. Did she baby them? No. Did she baby the parents? No. She did what a teacher was supposed to do and that was to try and teach the children.

Being a parent in the PACT program allowed me to spend as much "volunteer" time in the classroom as I wanted to. I saw Pat on her "good" days, and I saw Pat on her "bad" days. Was she abusive? Absolutely not. Did she expect her students to sit in their seats and behave like a second grader should? Absolutely. Did she have her students' best interest at heart? Absolutely. Did she wrap her arms around her students when they needed a hug? Absolutely. Did she scold them when they needed to be scolded? Absolutely. Did she raise her voice? Absolutely. Did she support the parents in the best way she knew how? Absolutely. Was Pat Polifrone infallible? Absolutely not. Was Pat Polifrone human? Absolutely.

How did Pat manage to teach as long as she did in this district? Do you mean to tell me that if she were "abusive" towards our children that we parents from a different generation wouldn't have done something? Don't be ridiculous.

I do not know the circumstances of the most recent events that involved Pat Polifrone but I hope she pursues a grievance against the district and I hope she continues to be the person and teacher that she is.

Pat, please know that there are many, many, many of us that support you and I want you to know that I am here for you if you need anything.

Muriel Sivyer-Lee,

and son Casey Lee

Velarde Street

Comments

Posted by fair reporting wanted, a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2009 at 9:33 am

I first wrote this letter as a comment to "Replacement found at Huff" and then sent it as a letter to the editor but apparently they didn't have the nerve to print it. Here it is again.
Hey, MV Voice,
Last night there was a meeting at Huff to introduce the new teacher to the parents. Where were you? Seems to me that would have been an excellent opportunity to interview the parents of this current class. Perhaps, good or bad, you could have gotten a more accurate account of what was going on in Ms Polifrone's room than that of Christine and other unidentified parents. You tried to defend the unfair, one-sided stories that you've printed so far (Why we published the story)but here was a perfect chance to get some other points of view and you missed it. So much for unbiased, balanced reporting. Does your paper do any actual investigative reporting or do you always just sit back and wait for people to bring the stories to you?


Posted by registered user, Don Frances, a resident of Mountain View Voice Editor
on Apr 10, 2009 at 10:33 am

We called and asked if you would provide your name on this letter, and you wouldn't, so we didn't run it in print. It's not us who "didn't have the nerve," it's you. The message has run repeatedly on our Web site, however.

As for the substance of your argument -- that we failed to reflect the opinion of parents who like Polifrone -- we did so more than once, as here (Web Link):

Following a story on the teacher in last week's Voice, other parents have come forward to applaud Polifrone's "commitment to the kids." On the Voice's Web site, sentiments on the teacher seemed to be almost evenly split.

"I have known Mrs. P for over nine years," one parent wrote. "My daughter is a student in her class this year, and wants to know when Mrs. P will be back. I have no issues or complaints with her. I volunteer in the class weekly and have not witnessed any of the accusations made. She is a strict teacher but fair."