Letter: Impartial Fact Finding Needed in Stony Brook Matter

from Richard Koch (retired Brewster Police Chief)

Letter to the Editor:

The “My View” article by Mr. Thomas Johnson in the Cape Cod Times on May 1 was a convincing exhibit as to why the Brewster Schools need an independent investigation into the duty of care for children at the Stonybrook Elementary School.


As suggested by Mr. Johnson, hiring is an important issue. But perhaps the bigger issue is the lack of supervision. This falls squarely on the principal’s shoulders. Yet my call to seek the truth and facts about a potential breach of trust is called a “witch hunt” by a school committee member. 


A fact-finding mission by a competent and impartial professional must determine whether just cause exists to take disciplinary action against the teacher who is alleged to have molested several children. If evidence is uncovered that management was culpable, further action may be appropriate and warranted.  It is not a “witch hunt” to hold public servants to high standards and enforcing such standards through consequences. Failure to act could be considered negligent retention. The victims and their families deserve nothing less and the entire community needs answers. Too much time has passed with no action.


The principal at Stonybrook was hired to heal divisions that have affected staff morale. Her reported conduct in an incident at Mashpee calls into question her judgment as a leader.” Yet the staff at the school remains divided as evidenced by the recent staff meeting called by some who wanted a vote of support for the principal. It ended with a split vote.


I have heard from many in our Community who agree with my position. I have heard from some who say “fix it and move on”.  But we can only fix what we know is broken. Let’s get the facts through an independent and thorough professional investigation. After we know the facts we will all be in a better position to move forward.


Richard Koch, Brewster

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