School Committee chair explains reasoning for private session tomorrow

School Committee Chair Sarah Fox has just released a press release explaining why the committee plans to hold an executive (private) session tomorrow evening, after the Current reported that a mother of two Marblehead students has called for the firing of acting Superinendent Michelle Cresta. The mother is upset about an email Cresta sent to parents about the violence in Israel.

School Committee Chair Sarah Fox COURTESY PHOTO

“The Marblehead School Committee received an email with specific language ‘I would like to open an official complaint against Michelle Cresta’ regarding her district-wide email condemning the violence in Israel,” Fox wrote. “Shortly after, we received an email from Leigh Blander, a reporter with the Marblehead Current, asking about claims of ‘students feeling bullied.’ Following both of the emails I contacted legal council who advised us to follow our established policies when complaints of this nature are made.”

Cresta’s email to parents read, “We stand with Israel and with Jewish people around the world.” She did not mention the people in Gaza who have been killed and injured.

Kristi Warab, whose children are Muslim, complained about Cresta’s email to the School Committee. In a letter to the editor, Warab wrote that she “would like to see an email from the school that stands with the right of every race and group of people and their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not just one group of people.” 

Warab said her children are feeling bullied.

Fox, who did not respond to multiple messages regarding Warab’s concern or the executive session, continued in her press release, “We have scheduled an executive session in compliance with our policies as is required. I am confident that through following the established policies, acting Superintendent Cresta will be able to speak to all complaints in accordance with district policy and the School Committee will be able to make a definitive statement regarding the allegations of wrong doing. We will be making a statement immediately following the executive session.”

The School Committee meeting begins Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Marblehead High School Library and on Zoom HERE.

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Editor Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter.

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