I am starting this post with humor. Why? Because by the END of this post, you will appreciate a little humor.

Saturday Night Live had a skit recently on what school board meetings have become from coast to coast.


Because from coast to coast, people have just plain lost their damn minds.

I have written about the school board meetings here. I have written about the anti-masker, anti-vaxxer protests. I have written about the QAnon school board candidates…and the anti-masker, anti-vaxxer candidates.

Now it occurred to me with posting the cartoons and Saturday Night Live skit and cartoons that this is what I find unacceptable. Ummm, no, and nice try. I find the election season bull sheit unacceptable.

Let’s start with Caroline O’Halloran’s startling revelation in the recent Savvy. I will be quoting liberally:

For the last month, we’ve been trying to decipher the new forces in play in local school board races.

It hasn’t been easy.

We sought answers from four new groups: Reimagine Radnor PAC, Back to School PA PAC, Pioneer PAC and Neighbors United PA. In an age when campaigns clamor for “transparency,” our questions were straightforward: Who are you? Do you have ties to statewide or national groups? How are you funded? What is your purpose?

At the same time, we reached out repeatedly to Conservative Women of the Main Line (CWML), a one-year-old PAC with T/E roots that hosts monthly speakers for paid members.

CWML’s September speaker was high-profile Stop the Steal activist Scott Presler, who’s been traveling the country helping the GOP “take back the school boards.” A lightning rod for progressives, Presler has been blasted for his work supporting the anti-Muslim group, Act! for America, and for calling the January 6 insurrection “the largest civil rights protest in American history.”.For weeks, we didn’t know if we’d even run a story. We were simply gathering information to see if there was a story worth reporting.

And then a few days ago, we received this from an encrypted – and therefore, untraceable – IP address. A pre-emptive strike to scare us off the story? You decide. Here it is, copy-pasted, unedited and word-for-word:

~ Savvy October 21, 2021

Now before I get to THAT, let’s talk about the other part of this article:

About that photo with far right activist Scott Presler: 

Tredyffrin Republicans Chair Raffi Terzian and CWML President/Tredyffrin Republicans Vice Chair Rosanna Hagg ignored our repeated questions. We tried three times.

We did, however, hear back from T/E’s best-funded school board candidate, Deana Wang, who was also pictured with Presler. Wang said she was “not aware of any of those events associated with Scott Presler” and attended the CWML event “to meet more voters.”

When we asked in a follow-up email if she regretted posing with Presler, Wang suggested that Presler may have been mistreated by the press. “We should stop basing all our opinions about a person … based on what the media publishes,” she said.

We also took the opportunity to ask about her funding. Wang had already amassed $16,000 in the spring and who-knows-how-much since then – huge dollars for a school board candidate. Hence, her omnipresent yard signs and polished mailers.

~ Savvy October 21, 2021

Deana, Deana, Deana…if you expect us to believe that you knew NOTHING about this long haired conservative Jesus, is the Tooth Fairy your running mate? If you actually for reals know nothing, you are a dangerous candidate for your ignorance alone, but my take? You all in that dumb photo thought you would enjoy 15 minutes of Internet fame, so honey how is that working out for you?

These people are exhausting. PACs popping up faster that dandelions in June.

Now back to the nasty-gram sent to the ever so nice Savvy Caroline:

So now this journalist is getting nasty comments threatening her publication?

This is unacceptable. I will note that I have had comments come in from protonmail as well. The latest one was from someone who didn’t like me mocking the anti-masker anti-vaxxer protest I saw on 100 in Exton in front of the mall.

These people told the writer to stick to writing about Kentucky Derby Hats and her writing was poor and she was political, etc. etc.

Really Trolls? She’s a great and seasoned writer, is polite and respectful to those she writes about and interviews, and then you threaten her site and advertisers?

And her writing isn’t remotely political – she is covering local stories and hey now y’all do your crap for attention, right? And then you complain when you get attention and threaten? Nice. Pretzel logic. Awesomesauce.

These are total troll moves, what many of you attempt with me a blogger quite often. It’s not acceptable with me either, which is why some comments over the past few months have actually been reviewed by police in more than one jurisdiction, and PS they came to me after they read them. I actually didn’t go to them.

The first amendment entitles me to my opinions and Savvy to their local reporting of whatever THEY choose to cover. It’s not Pravda on this bus, Comrades.

This is why no matter where you are in Southeastern Pennsylvania whether it’s on the Main Line or in Chester County you need to send these school board candidates that these threateners, meeting disrupters, and harassers are backing… packing.

I will also note that although Caroline O’Halloran has always written about fashion and style (she had an awesome section once upon a time when Main Line Media News/Main Line Times was still a real newspaper, as opposed to the hedge-fund eviscerated shell), that is not all she has ever done. And for what it is worth, she has never written about Kentucky Derby Hats BUT she has been a guest judge at Devon Horse Show’s Ladies Hat Day. THAT makes me laugh because I am sure many of those broads in Conservative Women of the Main Line have paraded in front of her and other judges like tarted-up Thanksgiving turkeys and well the humor in the hypocrisy of it all much?

Keep exposing the nasty comments, Caroline. Bullies breed in the darkness. Bring them into the light. You keep doing you, it’s why we think you are wonderful, no matter what our political persuasion. With the distinct lack of local news reporting, you keep us in the know, accurately and fairly. You share all sorts of things with us of all topics, and we thank you.

The Daily Cartoon and Live Briefing: Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - FlaglerLive

These school board races.

They are hideous.

Can we talk West Chester Area School District for a Nanosecond? We’ll start with Anonymous Ada Nestor. After all, she claims she ain’t no QAnon Hussy BUT…

And of course lil’ Ada isn’t Q’Anon according to her mouthpiece Stacey Whomsley, until you see this:

For more on the crazy that is West Chester Area School District candidates please visit HERE. And HERE.

There are all sorts of pages and blogs cropping up which seem to be targeting West Chester and Downingtown. Can’t keep up with them, don’t want to it’s like the fake news express with a few thees and thous thrown in and potential “a-ha” moments that are more accurately “D’oh we already knew that so what?”

In the Great Valley School District the “Republican” candidates are as scary as their counterparts in Downingtown School District and West Chester Area School District. Here is their latest propaganda (their mistakes included):

May be an image of text
No photo description available.

I like fiction, don’t you? So is Lauren Dicranian able to legally drink yet? You have to laugh at the home printed literature that is being distributed by the 2 Region 1 candidates- ZERO attempt to look professional by having a real flyer. A bunch of nonsense put together on lunch break or something, with typos…By the way…The survey mentioned has been around for years and it is not mandatory, it’s an easy opt out; students also have the option to skip questions they don’t want answered.

5 cartoons about America's school board battles

Now onto the other “unacceptable” because the Great Valley School District loving hands at home literature isn’t unacceptable, merely pathetic. West Chester Area School District’s triplets of crazy (Whomsley, Nestor, Edgarian) are also ridiculously predictable in their onbviousness. Everyone knows they are generally unacceptable, but we go next to Downingtown.

Yes that sign is popping up all over the Downingtown Area School District.

This is the crappiest campaign stunt yet from the lunatics in Downingtown. These women referred to (Rebecca Britton and LeeAnn Wisdom) also happen to be friends of mine. They are among the nicest, most genuine, thoughtful women I know.

I stand with them, and condemn the bull sheit being hurled and spewed at them. No one is claiming production of these signs and a lot of them are appearing where not invited, so I am guessing a lot are disappearing, as well they should. One little child of one of these candidates keeps asking their mommy why these people say these things? How do you explain to an innocent child that there are just people as mean as snakes? Oh wait, I just did.

But these signs? Unacceptable.

Folks this is all I have got on this topic. At least for now. Send the nutters packing on election day. Our democracy and public school system depend upon it.

Peace, love, and candy corn (it is almost Halloween, after all.)

The Daily Cartoon and Live Briefing: Thursday, August 19, 2021 | FlaglerLive

what is a public vs. private post exactly on facebook? especially when it comes to politics?

I was waiting for one of these threatening comments on the West Chester school board candidates post. I don’t even know who this woman Suzie is. But she is referring to these PUBLIC photos that people, MANY people have taken screen shots of including the ones I have shown again below to illustrate. I did her a kindness I did not have to and have not disclosed her email address. Technically I was under no obligation to do so, as she wrote to my site.

Suzie is fussing over screenshots of PUBLIC Facebook posts. Note the little globe. And these are SCREENSHOTS to show origin of a PUBLIC post.

Please note, I did not post photos of her family, private life, or kids. I only posted PUBLICLY posted things.


Suzie, your posts that you created personally were PUBLIC posts sharing a PUBLIC post. That means they are PUBLIC. If you go to the bottom of the originating posts from the Chester County Coalition of Republican Women you can see the “shares”…It is a public post and you can see who shared it depending upon their privacy settings. YOU had your settings for these posts as PUBLIC which means ANYONE can see them. Those you have different privacy settings you can’t see and that is why there is this nifty bit of verbiage: “Some posts may not appear here because of their privacy settings.”

The other screenshot, also a PUBLIC post I guess has you in it, but again, don’t know you, so I can’t say you are in the photo for sure. Photo was posted PUBLICLY without attribution, so your issue my dear is with the person who POSTED the photo PUBLICLY and she posts pretty much everything PUBLICLY.

Oh and Suzie? I called the Republican Committee of Chester County. Spoke to someone pretty high up. They remarkably did not know who you were. We had a great conversation. I used to be a Republican, and I still have plenty of Republican friends. I owned what I had written about and why. They agreed the school board races had gotten beyond nasty. I told them that if your gals Ada Nestor and Stacey Whomsley had been part of the Purple People Eater Political Party I would still feel they were BAD candidates and the WRONG choice for school board on the West Chester Area School District. We had an awesome conversation, actually.

But Suzie? If you do not wish people to screenshot and share your posts or share posts others share publicly including photos? You need to change YOUR privacy settings which you can do from post to post to either be friends only or friends except (and exclude people). As long as that LITTLE GLOBE appears with regard to Facebook, it is a PUBLIC post. Just like if you do not make your Instagram and Twitter accounts private, everything you post is PUBLIC. The last screenshot is an example of choices for PRIVACY settings on Facebook posts. I hope this clears it up.


you just can’t make this stuff up

Yoga Balls ClassroomMy, oh my!  Great balls of plastic!

O.k. I guess if West Chester Area School District paid more attention to actual education (as in maintaining not reducing curriculum) and things like reducing bullying from the elementary school levels through to and including high school I wouldn’t have an issue. Or even managed their coaches and teachers better as to avoid incidents of touchy-feely.

But I just do.  Not trying to rain on their parade, but with reduced monies available for education, is buying yoga balls and then using more tax dollars to promote as a PR angle the best and most prudent use of taxpayer money?

Also see:

West Chester School Uses Yoga Balls Instead of Character-Building Chairs

Teachers ditch student desk chairs for yoga balls

I have two words next time the West Chester Area School District Teachers Union gets all fired up about what they think they deserve: YOGA BALLS.

Wow. Sorry but this is foolishness.

coach touchy feely pleads guilty

In May, 2012 when I first wrote about the touchy feely swim coach in the West Chester Area School District I took some heat in the comments for being harsh.

Well I hate to say I told you so, but I was right and former  West Chester Rustin High School swimming coach Kenneth Fuller has pled guilty in Common Pleas Court.

God help his poor family.  Through no fault of their own they get to live this every day with him.

I have said it once, I will say it again, I am sick of predatory authority figures whether teacher or clergy or anyone else.  And these school districts need to pay better heed to issues teachers are having.   Take for example the teacher booted from Conestoga High School around Christmas for being blotto drunk on the job.  That stuff doesn’t happen overnight.

I have to say sometimes I tire of all the whining you hear regarding contracts, pay, and benefits from teachers when their school district contracts are up for renewal.  I think that people might be more amenable at times to them getting a little more here and there if they took their moral obligation to our children more seriously. That includes those who work with someone that they know is doing wrong by kids.

Teaching is an honorable profession, but teachers/coaches like this guy Kenneth Fuller are without honor.  Sorry, but I find taking advantage of kids despicable.  And to put his family through this is despicable too.  And selfish. Hope he gets help in the clink.

Former West Chester swim coach admits having sex with student

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013


WEST CHESTER – The former West Chester Rustin High School swimming coach pleaded guilty Wednesday to engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of his female team members.

Kenneth Fuller stood before Common Pleas Court Judge David Bortner and admitted that he had taken the girl, then 17 years old, to a hotel and an area park in the spring of 2012 and had sex with her after supplying her with alcohol.

He also admitted that he had helped fake a doctor’s letter for her that would excuse her from missing class when the two had one of their trysts. Finally, he acknowledged that after his arrest in May, he had continued to contact the girl about his case – although there is a disagreement about what exactly he said and why.

Fuller, dressed in a blue business suit, striped dress shirt and tie, said little during the 30-minute hearing in Bortner’s courtroom besides saying he understood the rights he was giving up in entering his guilty plea, and understood the charges against him. He was accompanied by family members and his attorney, Vincent DiFabio of Paoli….Fuller, 48, of East Goshen, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of endangering the welfare of children, which carries with it a possible maximum sentence of 3½ to seven years in prison, and a standard recommended sentence of between three months and one year in jail.



pay to play lament: west chester area school district teachers picket

“Pay up!”

“The district has the money!”

Ah yes, the things that are heard on the picket line.  As in yesterday, in West Chester.

I have written about the ongoing issues between the teachers and the West Chester Area School District before.   And I am about to be the most unpopular girl at the dance again as far as these teachers and their supporters go. However, much like yesterday’s teachers who picketed and those who support them, I am also allowed to express my opinion on the topic.

One teacher heard hollering for the benefit of the television cameras who bore witness yesterday said it wasn’t about the money, it was about making a “living wage”.  I am sorry, did I hear her correctly?  Are teachers in the West Chester Area School District so grossly underpaid? Am I to envision the need for tip jars on every teacher’s desk throughout the district?

I truly don’t think so.

And whomever wants to can jump all over my back for having that opinion, but after following this story off and on for close to a year now, that is how I feel.

As I said before, I will say again:

Ok, here is what I think: Both sides will of course (to an extent) interpret the facts to suit their cause.  No one is perfect.  When the economy was better, I am sure everyone can agree this district spent like a drunken sailor on leave, correct?

So now times are tight.  Funding, grants, you name it are down. Which means both sides need to give as they get.

However, that being said, I think this teachers’ union and others need to wake up and smell reality.

They aren’t being asked to suffer a great injustice if they have to contribute towards their healthcare benefits!  Give me a break!  I am one of the millions of Americans who pays for their own healthcare out-of-pocket.  As in 100%.  And oh yes, I paid for breast cancer doing that and survived just fine.

Salaries.  My goodness, where else can you earn a fine salary and take off a few months a year on the taxpayers if you so choose? Wow.  Most of us in the private sector have considered ourselves lucky for years if we managed to get a cost of living salary increase!  Sorry, but between the salaries and the retirement benefits that enable teachers to not only retire early, but if they have been paying attention, retire rich, I do not feel the love in a need for an 18.3% bump up over three years.

Accountability.  Charter schools and private schools hold teachers accountable.  Heck most jobs in this country exist with a review process as part of the every day  dealio. Public school teachers should be equally accountable.  But if everyone is accountable than those who should have either chosen other career paths or been put out to pasture can’t slide by any longer, can they?

But is the school district itself with 100% clean hands here? Doubtful, never seen one that was.  School districts have all sorts of issues and skewed politics.

Now, do I believe there are people who are underpaid? Yes.  School District employees like teacher’s aides are often grossly underpaid.  But the teachers?  I am not so sympathetic.

And  I have a comment to the blond teacher who said on camera “we want fair wages for our work…we live in the district too.” My comment?  Simple.  If these teachers live in the district then they KNOW that there are a lot of people living on a LOT less than they have.  People without jobs, struggling to make ends meet.  People without benefits.

The day of the fatted calf is done.  These teachers have a LOT more than a lot of other people. Period.  This economy sucks for a lot of people, not just teachers.

If all of West Chester Area School District were so fabulous then they would not have kids being home schooled. Or in Charter Schools.  Or in private schools. Or in Catholic Schools.

I am sorry, but it truly upsets me to see people who have decent jobs and benefits most can only dream of  complain chronically that it is never enough.  If it isn’t enough, then they have options including going to work for other school districts and moving.

But to stand there and complain when so many more are going without right in their own district, well enough is enough. Grow up.

And think twice before you roll up on this blog and accuse me from hating teachers.  I don’t hate teachers. I know a lot of them.  And some of the teachers I know live with a LOT less all the way around than the teachers in the West Chester Area School District.

Overall, I think a lot of school districts spent a lot of years being bloated and neither teachers nor administrations planned adequately for “rainy days”.  Furthermore, yes times are tough, but in my mind that doesn’t mean you just shell out more to some, while so many others go wanting.  And there are a lot of people in Chester County, let alone West Chester who are seriously wanting and in need.  Maybe these teachers need to go volunteer at local soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food banks – see what real need is. Right in Chester County.  Right in West Chester.

I apologize again for those who feel I am being strident.  It’s just the simple fact that SO many are detrimentally affected by the current state of affairs as far as the economy in Pennsylvania and the US as a whole.  These teachers aren’t by themselves suffering on a little deserted island.

West Chester Teachers Rally For New Contract By David Kinchen, Reporter

FOX 29 News September 25, 2012

West Chester teachers say they have been working without a contract since June 30th and want the West Chester Area School District to pay up.

“We happen to know that the school district (is) finding money and has the money to settle these contracts,” said Debbie Fell, president of the West Chester Area Education Association. …

District leaders say the school budget is fine for this year.  However they are worried about deficit projections up to $18 million two years from now and want to be careful about future financial agreements.

Union leaders say they have already saved the district nearly $3 million by agreeing to pay a pay freeze last year.

Both sides will continue negotiations on October 10th

West Chester Patch: West Chester Teachers Rally for a New Contract

Members of the West Chester Education Association gathered outside the district’s administration office to rally support for a new contract.

ByJake Speicher Email the author  5:45 am

The West Chester Education Association held a rally in front of the district’s administration building before Monday night’s school board meeting.

“We didn’t get in this for the money,” said teachers’ association president Deb Fell in front of a crowd of district teachers.  “All we want is a fair wage.”

Didn’t get into it for the money?  Really?  Good to know, from an outsider’s perspective it is hard to tell. Seems to me the teachers are telling us ordinary lay people that we are just supposed to work our tail feathers off to support them? At the expense of what we can afford? Do they think that the WCASD administration is just going to pull the money out of thin air? Or knock over a leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of a rainbow?

mixed nuts: negotiation update for west chester area school district

Whether you have a kid in the school district or not, if you live within the confines of the West Chester Area School District, you pay.

Within the past couple of days,  mailboxes all over the West Chester area received a mailing from the West Chester Area School District titled “Negotiation Update”. (You can also visit them on the web for further information HERE.)

When you look at the  Board vs. Union Proposal Analysis , the following really stood out:

For the Board’s contract proposal, total spending on teachers’ salaries and healthcare benefits will increase from $86.2 million in 2011-2012 to $93.4 million in 2014-2015. This will increase the District’s costs by $7.2 million. For the WCAEA’s proposal, total spending on teachers’ salaries and healthcare benefits will increase from $86.2 million in 2011-2012 to $107 million in 2014-2015. This will increase the District’s costs by $20.8 million.

So I have to ask West Chester, what are you willing to pay?  This comes out of your pockets, after all.

Of the issues in dispute, as per the mailing, here is some of what you are looking at:

WCASB (West Chester Area School Board) wants as far as Salaries:

 under board proposal, teachers will earn raises totalling 3.82% over first 2 years of 3 year contract or average salary will go from $67,800 to $71,200. In the 3rd year the district will offer a one time bonus of $1500 (+ 2.11%) to each teacher if average increase in combined real estate assessment growth in areas served by district exceeds 2.6% between 2012 and 2014.

What Union wants:

Salary increases of 18.3% over course of 3 year contract (intentional so it will exceed annual increases in healthcare contributions rates on the part of its members.) What union is asking for is that teachers receive both a cost of living increase plus a “salary column” increase or + 5.57% year 1, + 5.81% years 2 and 3.

WCASB (West Chester Area School Board) wants as far as Accountability:

If a teacher receives an unsatisfactory performance evaluation, they will not receive a salary increase the following year.

What Union wants:

The union proposal continues to allow members to receive annual raises without regard to performance evaluation.

WCASB (West Chester Area School Board) wants as far as healthcare:

District funds 90% of medical,dental, prescriptions, and vision year 1, 85% year 2, 80% year 3.  Also moderate (yes moderate) deductibles.

What Union wants:

In a nutshell an expansion of current healthcare benefits.

There are more sticking points having to do with retirement benefits, course reimbursement, work year/professional development time, work time and on-line course work.

I sort of agree with the teachers’ union as far as the on-line course work, because I have a problem with courses in a box…but as per the district when you compare the cost of the two proposals (and I quote from the flyer which was mailed out):

Comparing the Cost of the Two Proposals:

The cost of paying for a new teachers’ contract should be of particular interest to taxpayers, since they fund approximately 85% of the District’s budget.  The chart…indicates the difference between the school board’s proposal and the WCAEA proposal in each of the 3 years:

Year 1 – $4.9 million

Year 2 – $9.4 million

Year 3 – $13.6 million

So in digging around to see what the media is saying I found a blurb on West Chester Patch which says in part:

The following is a press release from the West Chester Area Education Association.

The West Chester Area Education Association (WCAEA) met today with representatives of the West Chester Area School District regarding contract negotiations. While no deal has been finalized, WCAEA President Debbie Fell said the teacher’s union and the school district have agreed to continue talks and have scheduled the next negotiation session for Thursday, August 16.

“We agreed to continue to meet in order to come to a fair and equitable resolution for everyone involved,” Fell said. “The WCAEA is dedicated to providing an excellent education for our children…

Alrighty, so one side mails, the other side press releases, but school begins September 4th and the children of the district are Malcolm in the Middle.

How do you all feel about that?

I found a letter in The Daily Local I would love to share:

Recently, there have been a number of newspaper articles and letters to the editor regarding the current contract negotiations between the West Chester Area School District and its teachers’ union. There have been some key numbers frequently mentioned including an 18 percent average pay increase over the next three years, as well as teachers will receive a 33 percent decrease in the effective compensation over the next three years if the proposed contract is adopted….I find it difficult to believe that the average teacher’s salary will be decreased by 33 percent over the next three years. The most recent letter was from the treasurer of the teachers’ union who again stated the 33 percent decrease concern. I believe it is necessary for that statement to be verified by details showing exactly how the average teacher’s current effective salary would decrease over the next three years from that teacher’s current effective salary.

  I would hope that a union representative would respond in writing with this information

Amen to that!

Suggested reading?

Opposing opinions may stall WCASD contract talks  BY JEREMY GERRARD jgerrard@dailylocal.com  Posted: 08/03/12 12:39 am


Residents Speak Out Against Union Dues Requirement: Residents at the West Chester School District Board meeting speak out against the district’s requirement that all teachers pay union dues. ByJake Speicher Email the author July 24, 2012

Letter: Teachers’ Union Disappointed in School Board.A letter from the West Chester Area Education Association expresses disappointment in the negotiating process to this point.  July 20, 2012

Ok, here is what I think: Both sides will of course (to an extent) interpret the facts to suit their cause.  No one is perfect.  When the economy was better, I am sure everyone can agree this district spent like a drunken sailor on leave, correct?

So now times are tight.  Funding, grants, you name it are down. Which means both sides need to give as they get.

However, that being said, I think this teachers’ union and others need to wake up and smell reality.

They aren’t being asked to suffer a great injustice if they have to contribute towards their healthcare benefits!  Give me a break!  I am one of the millions of Americans who pays for their own healthcare out-of-pocket.  As in 100%.  And oh yes, I paid for breast cancer doing that and survived just fine.

Salaries.  My goodness, where else can you earn a fine salary and take off a few months a year on the taxpayers? Wow.  Most of us in the private sector have considered ourselves lucky for years if we managed to get a cost of living salary increase!  Sorry, but between the salaries and the retirement benefits that enable teachers to not only retire early, but if they have been paying attention, retire rich, I do not feel the love in a need for an 18.3% bump up over three years.

Accountability.  Charter schools and private schools hold teachers accountable.  Heck most jobs in this country exist with a review process as part of the every day  dealio. Public school teachers should be equally accountable.  But if everyone is accountable than those who should have either chosen other career paths or been put out to pasture can’t slide by any longer, can they?

But is the school district itself with 100% clean hands here? Doubtful, never seen one that was.  School districts have all sorts of issues and skewed politics.  What are those in administration giving back as far as salary increases, perks, etc?  Are there positions within administration specifically that could be pared down or eliminated to save money? And above all else are kids in this school district getting an education they can actually use to better their futures?  And what about the bullying issues and other social issues which exist and I never seem to hear addressed? I found a tumblr blog post about bullying that is old that says in part:

Ironic the passing of Rodney King also saw Lou Ferrigno “Hulk” sworn in as a security officer in Los Angeles.  Now that most schools have completed their academic year, it would be time for the school administrations to review their policies for prevention of bullying.  In this area, the West Chester School District has a policy, most recent seems to be 8/08 and states it will be updated every three years.

Am I reading this correctly?  If so, WCASD has some ‘splaining to do there, huh?

And then there is the constant and troubling undertone that one political party runs the school board and school district?  I am a Republican but I still believe that one party rule anything is a bad idea and leads to petty tyranny.

Whatever, I am definitely an outsider looking in.  But what I have seen with regard to this school district is not particularly impressive.  Like much of the public school education in this country, it leaves a lot to be desired and is the only thing the majority of taxpayers can afford.  So taxpayers are stuck no matter what.

What are the taxpayers in the West Chester Area School District going to do?  Smile politely from behind PTA mom and dad faces or get up, stand up, be heard, and demand that both the district and the teachers’ union have accountability?

In my opinion, the choice is up to the taxpayer whether they believe it or not.  Taxpayers can have a real and valid say on how this plays out.   Start now.

Why don’t you contact some of the people listed below? Write the papers? What do you have to lose?  The answer is nothing and the kids have everything to gain.   When did education stop being about preparing future generations for life?

Dr. Marc Bertrando
Assistant Superintendent
Secondary Education  484-266-1004

Dr. Robert Fraser

Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum  484-266-1198

Dr. Suzanne K. Moore Director of Business Affairs

Business & Finance Department  484-266-1020

Members of the public may contact the Board by email or via the Board Secretary, Mrs. Pauline Bachtle by submitting information in the following manner:

By Traditional Mail:
West Chester Area School Board
c/o Pauline Bachtle, Board Secretary
Spellman Administration Building
829 Paoli Pike
West Chester, PA 19380

By e-mail:
(Note: Mrs. Bachtle, the School Board Secretary, will see that all members of the Board promptly receive your e-mail.)

By Telephone:
Call Mrs. Bachtle at 484-266-1125 if you wish to speak personally with a member of the School Board. Mrs. Bachtle will forward your name and telephone number to the respective Board member.

Members of the 2012 West Chester Area School Board: 

Vincent Murphy, School Board President  vmurphy@wcasd.net

Heidi Adsett, School Board Vice President hadsett@wcasd.net

Sean Carpenter scarpenter@wcasd.net

Ed Coyle ecoyle@wcasd.net

Karen Miller kmiller1@wcasd.net

Dr. Maria Pimley  mpimley@wcasd.net

Linda Raileanu  lraileanu@wcasd.net

Maureen Snook  msnook@wcasd.net

Sue Tiernan  stiernan@wcasd.net

Robert Partridge Communications Program Director
Communications Department  484-266-1170

Dr. Leigh Ann Ranieri  Director of Pupil Services

Pupil Services Department  484-266-1229

a word from your friendly neighborhood blogger

Apparently, my latest post on the issues in the West Chester School District with the swimming coach from  Bayard Rustin named Kenneth Fuller has hit even more of a nerve than any of the nonsense I have reported in West Vincent, including the attempted eminent domain for private gain at Ludwig’s Corner. Even my sniptastic comments about Phoenixville have not elicted such a response.

That being said, I thought it might be *prudent* to let new followers and commenters know that as the blog admin I can see the I.P. address you are commenting from as well as your e-mail address.  Generally speaking, I keep that to myself UNLESS there are comments which are very extreme, and/or threatening.

Please feel free to comment and I am glad you are reading this blog, but please be responsible with your comments.   As blog admin, I also reserve the right to not publish a comment.

It also seems that this latest West Chester School District issue, other issues may come to light and in general emotions are running high. *If* you have a major problem with this school district, please go to the proper authorities.  It is far more effective than writing a comment on any blog or newspaper site.

I think that this school district seems to have issues and the current events of the past couple of days are bringing it all to a head.  I know of what I speak since I moved from the evil spying laptop issue laden Lower Merion School District. This is an issue and a story that will go viral.  Other blogs and more media outlets and papers are also starting to comment.

Thank you from your friendly neighborhood blogger.

Have a great night!

what’s up with coach touchy feely in the west chester school district?

In January, West Chester Area School District ballyhooed the maintaining of their bond rating.  But as I have said before, if you are an issuer of debt and rated by issuer paid ratings agencies, in a sense you get what you pay for.  Wonder what today’s news will do to their rating/reputation?

Yes, I make no bones about being skeptical and somewhat jaded about public school systems in PA, and yes I am a pure product of private school.  But truthfully, that occured because at the time my parents worried about what we would learn and not learn in Lower Merion School District, and I am forever grateful they sacrificed so we could go to private school. Not that private schools don’t have coach issues – Shipley had one a year ago when a squash coach found himself in the hot seat for having an affair with a student.  I lost track of the case in September, so I am not sure what happened to the guy James Civello (the former Shipley coach)  in the end.  If I am reading the court docket correctly, he has not yet had his trial.

I am indeed critical of public school systems, but heck, all you have to do is follow a non-profit action organization called LMVUE and other grass-roots groups that fight for public school education and you will get an education of your own.

When I was first introduced to the West Chester Area School District I was appalled by what they called education in the elementary and middle schools.   Let’s start with how much bullying is tolerated in the elementary and middle schools, how they don’t really want gifted student programs, and many other issues.  What happened to the language programs in at least the elementary schools? What’s up with in essence, science in a box?  I saw first hand via a friend, what qualified as “homework” in basics like social studies.

I said it before and I will repeat myself, all I see out of West Chester Area School District is a dumbing down of students and paper pushing.   I remember spring a year ago  something coming out about rankings – I don’t remember West Chester being so hot when it came to stacking up side by side against other school districts.  According to the Philadelphia Business Journal the top ten included Tredyffrin-Easttown, Radnor, Lower Merion, Unionville-Chadds Ford, Central Bucks and others.  But not West Chester. West Chester according to the statistics was 41 in this ranking of PSSA scores.

But now we flash forward to the giant high schools, and today’s news brings the news of a touchy feely coach.  A swim coach at Bayard Rustin High School named Kenneth Fuller, who judging from NBC10’s 11 a.m. news report lives in West Goshen has been accused of doing some non-swimming stroking with an underage girl he was coaching.

O.k. …ICK.  Just ick.  I do not and never will get older guys who have this Lolita fixation.  And it is not the first teacher I have heard of doing this, as these things are unfortunately in the news far too often.  And then of course there are the incidents which never make it to the news or get reported beyond family.

For example, way back when I was in high school I used to do an occasional appearance as a catering extra hand with a friend from high school – it paid better than baby-sitting.  This one summer she and I were extra servers at a very Main Line wedding.   I was either 16 or 17 and one of the guests, a man at that time I believe close to 30 if not a little older came onto me.  It was very creepy.

What was even more creepy is when he called me up at my parents’ house a few days after the wedding like he was some teenage boy asking for a date.  Unfortunately for him, he was one of those obnoxious touchy feely men who was a known quantity on the teen girl circuit, and he had actually approached another girl I knew at the time.  I made it simple for him, I told him if he ever called me or bothered me again I would tell all my friends, my father, and all my parents’ friends.  That worked like a charm.  I never outed the guy, and see no point now since in essence my friends and I rendered him a failure to launch at the time and scared the crap out of him, but when I would occasionally see him as an adult at things with his wife and family I was hard pressed not to vomit.

So, this whole West Chester incident, while disgusting if true, is not surprising.  You just never know what lurks behind a seemingly nice package.  Human nature is a funny thing.

However, I did find what the West Chester Area School District Superintendent Jim Scanlon said this morning on the 11 a.m. NBC10 news cast somewhat disturbing.  When he was speaking about the incident he said that this Kenneth Fuller was not a teacher, just a coach.  News flash: IT DOESN’T MATTER.  What matters is that the school district hired him and if the allegations are proven true, they had this guy around students.  And besides, isn’t coaching in a sense, teaching?  Instead of teaching academics, coaches instruct/teach with regard to various sports?

Schools always protest when one of these relationships is outed that they did background checks, criminal checks, etc.  So I have to ask, is there something else they should be doing, or perhaps paying for more thorough background and criminal checks? (there are different levels of checks – I know because I used to perform them as part of my previous job.)

This distinction made by West Chester Area School District Superintendent Jim Scanlon that Fuller “was not employed as a classroom teacher.  Like all employees, Mr. Fuller had state and federal criminal history clearances and child abuse clearances before he was hired” just doesn’t sit right.  To me it is like there is a subliminal message or the school district preparing to do a Pontius Pilate.

Parents need to start asking this school district some tough questions.  And if they don’t get the answers they need, they should work to get a new school board and administration.  Yes, these incidents happen.  But the true test is in how the school district handles this issue, not just how a purported criminal act is investigated and disposed of through the judicial system.  The school district needs to be accountable for their staff….no matter who they are.

As for this coach, shame on him.  The trust of students and young people in general is a very big deal.  Not only do you have a part in shaping the adults they will become, you are the adult in the equation.  If this is true, this coach deserves what he gets.

Here’s the media on this:


NBC10: Swimming Coach Has Sex With H.S. Student: Cops

A swimming coach in the West Chester Area School District is accused of posing as a student’s father to get her excused from class so he could have sex with her.

By  Jackie Gailey
|  Thursday, May 17, 2012  |  Updated 8:22 AM EDT

A swimming coach at Bayard Rustin High School in Chester County was arrested Wednesday, he’s accused of having sex with an underaged student.

Kenneth Fuller, 47, is charged with institutional sexual assault, corruption of a minor and related charges.

He was arraigned late Wednesday night and only NBC10 was there as he was escorted to Chester County Prison after failing to make his $250,000 bail.

Fuller met the female victim away from the school on three occasions between April 27, 2012 and May 2, 2012 and had sex with her, according to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan…… pretended to be the victim’s father and had the victim excused from school for a fake doctor’s appointment so that they could have sex, according to Hogan…..NBC10 has obtained a letter sent home to parents by West Chester Area School District Superintendent Jim Scanlon. It reads in part:

“Mr. Fuller had been employed in the West Chester Area School District since the 2009-10 season as the coach for the boys and girls swimming team.  He was not employed as a classroom teacher.

Here is the press release from West Chester Area School District:

Rustin HS Boys and Girls Swimming Coach Arrested

May 16, 2012

Dear Parents,

I am very sorry to inform you that Rustin High School Boys and Girls Swimming Coach Ken Fuller was arrested this afternoon for allegations of committing Institutional Sexual Assault, Corruption of a Minor and related charges according to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Fuller had been employed in the West Chester Area School District since the 2009-10 season as the coach for the boys and girls swimming team. He was not employed as a classroom teacher. Like all employees, Mr. Fuller passed state and federal criminal history checks and child abuse history clearances Mr. Fuller had no reports of any improper conduct during his employment with the district.

We take student safety very seriously and are cooperating with the District Attorney and police. Mr. Fuller has been notified that he is not permitted on school property, nor permitted access to any of our students.

We are in no means trying to be inflammatory by releasing this information to parents.   We are trying to be as sensitive as possible to the students involved and impacted by this, however we would rather you hear this news from the school district first, before reading about it in the newspaper or social media. We respectfully ask for your sensitivity to this school community and privacy to the students impacted

The school district is very concerned about these charges and very much regrets any concerns they have caused students, parents, staff and our school community.

Parents who want more information about the investigation should contact Ms. Elizabeth Pitts in the Chester County District Attorney’s office at 610-344-6801. Parents may also contact my office at 484- 266-1018. We will provide counseling to students and staff.

Thank you for your support during this troubling experience.

Dr. Jim Scanlon

Superintendent of Schools

Posted: Thu, May. 17, 2012, 3:00 AM

By Sam Wood


A West Chester high school swim coach was arrested Wednesday on charges that he posed as a swimmer’s father, plied her with beer, and had sex with her.

Kenneth William Fuller, 47, head coach of the Bayard Rustin High School swim team, was charged with felony sex assault and corruption of a minor.

“This was a despicable violation of trust,” said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.

A member of the team, a teenage girl, told police that Fuller took her to a Kennett Square hotel April 27 and gave her “multiple” beers, court documents state. They had sex twice at the hotel, the documents allege.

On May 2, officials at Rustin received a phone call from a man who identified himself as the girl’s father, telling them the girl had a doctor’s appointment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, according to court papers. After leaving school early, the girl met Fuller at the same Kennett Square hotel for sex, the papers state.


By MICHAEL N. PRICE mprice@dailylocal.com

Posted: 05/16/12 07:08 pm Updated: 05/16/12 10:36 pm

A 47-year-old West Chester Rustin High School swim coach was arrested for allegedly having sex with an underage student-athlete, the Chester County District Attorney’s office announced Wednesday.

in the news in chester county

Last night at dinner time came the gruesome and sad news of an apparent suicide by car burning in Chester County (specifically Charlestown Township/Malvern):

NBC10: Body Found Inside Burned Out Car: Emergency crews responding to a car fire report in Chester County discovered a body inside the burned out vehicle.

I find that horribly sad and tragic.  It happened at Haverford College in 2009 – not a student, but someone who came in from the outside and ended their life in a remote parking lot.

There are so many people who are so deeply troubled.

In other news, let’s talk radioactive trash:

Radioactive material came from West Chester trash

Published: Thursday, February 02, 2012

NORRISTOWN — The Department of Environmental Protection is asking anyone who knows the history of an antique medical kit found in a West Chester trash bin to contact the agency’s Bureau of Radiation Protection…..The material was found Jan. 19, when a load of construction debris set off radiation alarms at Waste Management Inc.’s Norristown transfer station. The company deployed a health physicist to recover the radioactive material, identified as approximately one curie of radium-226. Exposure to one curie of radium-226 is equivalent to having more than 100 CT scans at once, and it has the potential to create skin burns within a few hours of contact.
DEP health physicists worked with Waste Management to properly evaluate and store the radium, and traced its source to a roll-off container that had come from the Hershey’s Mill retirement community in West Chester. 

Nice.  A retirement community.

Punxscutawney Phil, meanwhile, is predicting six more weeks of winter.

Now, previously, I had posted about  local food banks, and in today’s Malvern Patch there is a story about the People’s Pantry, formerly known as the Deacon’s Pantry in Frazer.  They are raising funds for a new building and have been approved as a 501(c)(3), making deductions tax-deductible.  They serve close to 2500 people- at least 500 households.  They have a website. In other food bank news, West Chester Patch announced that Chester County Food Bank has been named 2012 Business of the Year by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce.  Read about it here.

We live in horrible economic times at present, and many are struggling.  If you can contribute to a local food bank, that is to paraphrase Martha Stewart, a good thing.

West Chester Patch has announced lane closures (for a change, right?) on Route 202:

Nighttime  lane closures are scheduled on northbound and southbound Route 202  between the Westtown Road and Route 100 interchanges in West Goshen  Township, Chester County on Monday through Friday (Feb. 6-10) from 8  p.m. to 5 a.m. …PennDOT reminds motorists they can log on to 511pa.com

The condition of 202 and how long this has taken is a personal pet peeve of mine.  That road is dangerous and deplorable. And the projects are like bad Brooklyn Bridge jokes. Construction never stops, never really completes, and work doesn’t seem to last very long.  They also do a crappy job of clearing debris from accidents, etc. from the roadway.

My last thing for this particular post is an outbreak of Whooping Cough in West Chester:

Whooping Cough Outbreak Declared for West Chester School

NBC10: Cases of pertussis at a West Chester school have officials shutting off classes to those who have not been vaccinated against the disease

By  Teresa Masterson
|  Thursday, Feb 2, 2012  |  Updated 8:32 AM EST

There is an outbreak of Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, at the Hillsdale Elementary School in West Chester, officials say.

Only days after a case of whooping cough was confirmed at another Chester County school– Great Valley High School – the superintendent of West Chester Area School District announced Tuesday that its elementary school has an “outbreak” of the highly contagious disease….

Scanlon said that any student or employee who does not have all of the necessary vaccines will not be allowed into school.

According to the Chester County Health Department, pertussis is spread through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It begins with cold symptoms and a cough that becomes much worse over one to two weeks.

Symptoms usually include a long series of coughs (coughing fits) followed by a whooping noise.  However, older children, adults and very young infants may not develop the whoop.  There is generally no fever, officials say.

People with pertussis may have a series of coughs followed by vomiting, turning blue, or difficulty catching their breath….The disease can be very severe…For any parent who wants to have a child vaccinated, the Chester County Health Department offers free vaccinations for children under the age of 18 on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The vaccine is also available free of charge for adults