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Harvey "Pete" Dahl
Member, (and former Chairman) Reading School Committee, Reading Public Schools
Pete Dahl is a real team player.
But whose team is he on?
Since the timely departure of Superintendent Harutunian to North Andover, Pete Dahl has redoubled his efforts to insure that Reading's wasteful and, in some cases, completely unecessary school building projects will continue as planned.
The Hypocrisy of Pete Dahl - School committee member Pete Dahl, "stunned" that Reading student directory information is public information, willingly participated in the 1997-1998 Birch Meadow Family Directory.
In 1997, parents signed forms allowing their information to be included in the directories.
Times have changed.
Currently, this information is automatically considered school directory information unless parents specifically request their information to be excluded. See Department of Education 603 CMR 23.07 (4) (a).
Access to school directory information = increased political power in Reading, Massachusetts. School committee election teams and override campaign committees (C.A.R.E., Building Pride etc.) have used (with school officials' blessing) directory information to support pro-administration committee candidates, influence Town Meeting and promote the interests of architectural firms and special-interest groups. Over the years, directory information has enabled Reading school officials and their supporters to organize and mass-manipulate hundreds (if not, thousands) of Reading parents.
While directories of student / parent information are readily available to those political action groups who support the agendas of school officials and administrators, these same directories are not available to the "opposition." Making this information available to the entire public would put everyone on a more level playing field.
Former Superintendent Harry Harutunian obstructed certain parents' access to the directories by misrepresenting their information requests. At one public meeting, Harutunian produced doctored permission forms (with the check-off box whited out) and claimed that the forms were proof that the parents were shamefully seeking personal, private information about children.
In reality, the parents were requesting the same directory information readily available to Harutunian's pet political action groups. Predictably, the Reading School Committee played along with the deception.
History is repeating itself.
Now that Killam parents want to use the directory to learn about the school system and communicate with other parents whose interests somehow conflict with the objectives of the current Reading School Committee, Pete Dahl doesn't think these parents should have access to the same information he had access to in 1997. Superintendent Schettini and other members of the school committee apparently agree.
Dahl found the idea of student directories to be perfectly acceptable in 1997, when he signed up to include his family in the 1997-98 Birch Meadow Family Directory. Yet, in 2004, he is "stunned" by the idea that such lists even exist.
Listen to Pete Dahl (acting surprised and suffering from selective memory loss) at a recent 06/14/04 School Commitee Meeting when he is informed by attorney Naomi Stoneberg that school directories are public information:
"I am stunned to the point where I wouldn't even.. I would ask the Superintendent never to comply with that request. Just think about this. In a school system you could publish to someone who, who wanted to go after in a kidnapping situation - maybe it's their own child they don't have custody of. What do they want? They want to know everyone in the third grade. So I can, I know exactly what teacher they're in. I request the information and it comes to me."
Read pages from the 1997-1998 Birch Meadow Family Directory [.pdf, 108 KB].
Download the 1997 sign-up form [.pdf, 23.3 KB] for the Birch Meadow Family Directory.
Listen to the student directory discussion [.mp3 download, 1.17 MB] from the 06/14/04 school committee meeting.
Please right-click, "Save Target As" to download the linked files on this page.
03/27/03 and 04/10/03
A lively discussion turned heated when newly elected Chairman Harvey "Pete" Dahl, refused to allow resident Gary Phillips to speak until Mr. Phillips apologized for statements allegedly made at the 03/27/03 final design architect selection meeting. Unfortunately, Dahl (audio 04/10/03) misrepresented Phillips' statements (audio 03/27/03) and demonstrated how he, as the new School Committee Chairman, would "preside" over the business of the Reading Public Schools.
Recognize the Patterns - "The serial bully in the workplace is often found in a job which is a position of power, has a high administrative or procedural content but little or no creative requirement, and which provides opportunities for demonstrating a 'caring' or 'leadership' nature." - BullyOnline.org