Dear [Board President]:
We are in receipt of a letter dated 21 April, stating that [Umbridge] does not wish for [Tigger] to return to the Lexington School for the 4th grade next year, despite our contract with the school.
We are hereby formally requesting your review of this opinion, and your approval to continue with [Tigger]'s educational career at TLS as planned and contracted.
As we are sure you are aware, we have had several conflicts with this interim administration over their decision making process, execution of decisions, communications style, and their complete disregard for the Code of Conduct. After consulting with several others in the TLS community who share our concerns, and after analyzing the pattern of actions compared to our past experience at the school, we came to the conclusion that [Umbridge] was the primary source and responsible party for the vast majority of our concerns. After ten years of a high level of satisfaction as parents with the school, one year of absolutely terrible performance can be attributed solely to the primary agent of change in the school during that time: [Umbridge].
In stark contrast, we believe that the incoming administration represents the type of leadership that the school needs and deserves. After consulting with individuals involved in the selection process, individuals who personally know the new headmaster, and after meeting with him during the school reception, we have the impression that he represents a return to the long record of excellent headmasters the school has had in the past. Intelligent, caring, empathic and a good communicator, we have confidence in his ability to make rational decisions, to appropriately balance the needs of the parents, students and staff, and his ability to listen to the concerns of all parties and reach a consensus that is best for all concerned.
As a result, and in concordance with the advice of several other parents, we have decided to suffer through the last weeks of the current administration, and look forward with optimism to the start of a new administration. [Our] family has had 24 years of involvement with the Lexington School, and as a result, we can take the long view, with past experience as our guide. We regard the current administration as a regrettable aberration that will be corrected with the start of a new year. Therefore, after long consideration of all the options, we made the decision to accept the contract offer of a place for [Tigger] in next year’s school.
We were shocked to receive [Umbridge]’s letter regarding enrollment of [Tigger] for next year. In our opinion, it is really none of her business, since she will no longer be administrator of the school. We believe we have a binding contract with the school, and that such actions cannot be and should not be taken at this time, and certainly should not be taken without prior consultation and discussion with the parents involved. We believe that this is yet another indication of [Umbridge]’s failure to properly communicate and consult with parents, and to work towards a consensus solution to all problems. We do not recognize her decision as either appropriate or valid.
We are eagerly awaiting [Umbridge]’s departure from the school, and are fully prepared and committed to start all over again with a clean slate next year. We believe that once the source of conflict has been removed, we can return to normalcy.
Over the past few months, upon reflection, and upon counsel of other parents who are also outraged at the actions of the current administration, we have ignored the continual affronts and irrational decisions streaming from [Umbridge]’s office. We could have reacted strongly, and created significant disruption in the school, but viewed this as counter-productive. We decided to suffer through the last months of her administration, and start anew with the new administration.
If you wish, as part of this inquiry, we will be happy to bring before the Board a ringing indictment of the multiple instances of poor decisions, poor communications, and violation of the Code of Conduct exhibited by this administration. If you wish, we can bring to you the long list of other unhappy and disaffected parents outraged by the actions of this administration. We are by no means the only parents unhappy with [Umbridge], although we may be the most vocal. If you wish, we can hash through all of the problems that brought us to this point. But, today, we think this would be counter-productive. We prefer to put behind us and move forward into a better future together.
We had previously requested a personal meeting with the incoming headmaster to discuss some of our concerns, and he has agreed to this meeting. We would be more than happy to meet with you and any other board members to discuss our concerns. We believe that the proper action, as recommended in the Code of Conduct, is for all parties concerned in the matter to sit down and logically discuss the issues and jointly reach a consensus decision. We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you, any other board members you may choose, the incoming headmaster, and [Tigger]'s current and prior teachers to discuss the situation, and reach a consensus regarding the best course of action for [Tigger] and the school. However, we do not wish for [Umbridge] to participate in these discussions. Her obvious bias and her departure makes her participation in discussions concerning next year irrelevant.
Please let us know when we can meet to resolve this matter to our mutual satisfaction.
Very Truly Yours,