Tuesday Feb 19 2008
Anonymous letter attacks school district, charter school
By: Joyia Emard Loomis News Staff Writer
Letter called "gutless"
A hit piece and gutless were words used by Loomis Union School District Trustee Jack Day describing a recent mailer sent to Loomis residents. The anonymous letter arrived in Loomis residents' mailboxes last week, suggesting the International Baccalaureate charter school the district plans to open in August is Marxist, anti-Christian and un-American. It also questioned the motives of the district, superintendent and the school board. I think it was tabloidish and over the top. It didn't sound like it was written by someone in our area, said Franklin Elementary School parent Gwen Hime. The letter includes quotes from Edwatch which, according to the Web site Wikipedia, is a Minnesota-based Christian conservative activist group. The Edwatch Web site claims they support the sovereignty of the United States and American exceptionalism. The letter also quotes PABBIS (Parents Against Bad Books In Schools), which according to their Web site includes The Catcher In The Rye and The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants as books inappropriate for K-12 students. The excerpts in the anonymous mailer from PABBIS deal with high school IB programs and not with primary school IB. According to Sean Flanagan, window clerk at the Loomis Post Office, they received over 40 requests from recipients of the mailer demanding to know who sent it. Flanagan referred most of them to Admail West, the company that processed the letter and holds the bulk mail permit. The company is located in West Sacramento. Flanagan said the postage cost alone for the letter was 22 cents each. He said was not sure if the piece, which was addressed resident, was sorted by zip code or by carrier route. It appears that residents in Penryn and Granite Bay did not receive the mailer. When contacted, Kathy Pescetti, co-owner of Admail West, refused to give her client's name or any information on the piece, but said she was passing messages from phone callers to them. We are not responsible for content, we merely processed the piece. We do not endorse or support content, she said. Paul Johnson, LUSD superintendent, did not issue an official comment, but did say he had received approximately 25 emails from supporters of the district claiming outrage over the mailer.