Despite Recent Narrative, Cold Spring School Deserves Community’s Support

By Montecito Journal   |   May 6, 2021

Dear Concerned Community,

Recent stories have been shared by the press which portray our beloved Cold Spring community as a war-torn battlefield, the casualty of infighting between the parents, teachers, school board, and administrative staff. Although that narrative is interesting, entertaining and presumably sells papers and gets clicks, it is also hurtful and grossly inaccurate. 

The far less exciting reality is that the majority of families get along and are regularly seen enjoying all that Cold Spring School has to offer. The teachers and staff are wonderfully supportive, effective, and do an amazing job of raising the next generation of thoughtful and courageous little humans. The board regularly conducts meetings, full of ordinary and sometimes mundane tasks, to a typically vacant auditorium. 

However, their stories aren’t told because they are filled with gratitude rather than drama. They are respectful of people’s privacy and are shared internally rather than blasted on social media or other outlets that shamefully fuel falsities and encourage those armed with rumors and gossip to make a name for themselves by making noise. And sadly, they are silenced by the fear of retaliation and the retribution of one neighbor.

Recently, a letter written anonymously and attached below, was circulated by text message and email from one parent to another. There was no mass publication, agenda or fanfare. Its intention and result were simply to show support for those working for, and at, Cold Spring School. 

More than 90 signatures were submitted anonymously within days. This current letter was similarly circulated and received more than 150 signatures, by individuals that wish to now show their public support and many additional community members privately support this message. Clearly, we, the majority of families, love and support the community, the teachers, and the school. 

We are tired of the noise and need to take action to change the narrative and ensure the teachers who go above and beyond are not ostracized by the antics of one. Truthfully, most of us work at least one job, take care of our children, our parents, volunteer where we can, and have responsibilities that prevent us from effectively countering the baseless attacks on our community. They may be the loudest, but they do not represent us.

And although the fight isn’t fair, and we are not at fault, we the community, find ourselves saddled with this problem of skewed narratives and personal vendettas. When the dust eventually settles and the teachers have finally reached a breaking point, it is the children who will be left paying the price. If you support and appreciate the teachers, staff, board, administration, and even parent volunteers, it is time to show them that support. 

Place supportive signs in your yard or on your fence. Wear your school spirit around town. Appreciate them for the difficult and often thankless work they all do. Write and send your opinions to outlets like the Montecito Journal, Independent, and Noozhawk, but be mindful that some publications choose which opinions to publish, and often, our voices are silenced. 

Come to board meetings so that you are informed of the facts and can base your opinions on the truth, rather than what you have been spoon-fed by those that take comments out of context or refuse to take responsibility for their own actions. 

Board meetings are published on the school’s website and listed on the marquee in the parking lot. Please get involved by volunteering and participating where you can. Stand up for the teachers, and children of those teachers, who are being targeted. Most of all, be mindful of the fact that most of us don’t have all of the information, and never will.

I leave you with the previous letter anonymously supported by many families:

• • •

Dear Fellow Parents and Community Members of Cold Spring School,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to you today in hopes of gathering your names as a show of support for our incredible school, its teachers, and staff.

Most of you are aware of the well-deserved and fantastic reputation of Cold Spring School. Our little haven of education manages to outperform larger and better funded schools year upon year. It offers a profound educational foundation for our children, while instilling in them the basics of good citizenship. Yet, the school itself is just a building made up of bricks and mortar. The real success of Cold Spring is due to the teachers and staff who work there. The men and women who often spend more time with our children than their own. These people love our children and shed blood, sweat, and tears for them. They are giants among us.

These giants are under attack. By now, many of you have seen the article in the Santa Barbara Independent on March 29, 2021. How did it make you feel? Were you surprised and angry that our teachers are feeling so stressed from the bullying caused by one parent/community member that they required medical attention? Are you upset that our school has had to pay a whole teacher’s salary to defend against the constant and frivolous litigation produced by this same person? This additional senseless expense could mean that there may be one less classroom that can be split next year. What about the fact that our administration has to waste countless hours of their time dealing with this nightmare and the constant and excessive requests for public and private information that is either confidential or has been disclosed? The school should be able to focus on our children during a public crisis, not on one person who has decided to target the school for their own vendetta! Personally, I am livid that my children are not getting the best education possible because one parent is having a tantrum. I am angry, saddened, and concerned for our giants. The teachers and staff that we all love and appreciate need our support now more than ever.

I would like to show them my support and am asking you to do the same. By signing this form, you are telling Cold Spring School teachers and staff that you believe in them. That you support them and appreciate them, especially during these difficult times. That you agree no one should have to withstand the bullying that has occurred and want it to stop. That you thank them for their hard work during this year and for doing their best in educating our dearest possessions. We are Cold Spring Strong.

In order to ensure this majority opinion would be published, we’ve purchased ad space. We love and support the teachers and want the baseless rumors, vexatious litigation, and attempt to rip apart the community to end.

With concern and love,

Cold Spring Families, including:

Julia Asher, Ann Pattison, Bill Asher, Kirsten Moore, Adriana Peña, Jim Bain, Lara Wooten, Erika Easter, Tricia Bergakker, Kelly Orwig, Kelly Pierce, Justin Pierce, Mathew Gradias, Jean Gradias, Chris Orwig, Mathew Gradias, Kirsten Moore, Elke Kane, Deann Zampelli, Jesse Wooten, Coral Godlis, Bryan Smith, JR McGinnis, Erin Duarte, Trevor Pattison, Zoe Copus, Jason Copus, Sunny Godlis, Malcolm Stevens, Jean Gradias, Zoe Stevens, Renee Dektor, Jesse Wheeler, Malcolm Stevens, Andrea Krautmann, Jay Krautmann, Kate Krautmann, Sam Krautmann, Jane Krautmann, Damien Krautmann, Crystal Jensen, Michellene Parker, Kristopher Parker, Sean Stevens, Kelly Smith, Jeremy Smith, Josh Kane, Linda Godlis, Adam Graham, Jessica Kasztelan, Cynthia Hawkes, Jen Miller, Tony Miller, Josh Kane, Patrick McNerney, Jennifer Fitch, Ryder McNerney, Kasen McNerney, Gavin Roy, Holly Kane, Justin Kane, Chrissy Snodgrass, Zoe Stevens, Rosey Bishop, Whitney Yadav, Iris L Ramirez, Carly Walters, Preston Walters, Harlow Walters, Hunter Walters, Shannon Montanaro, Jon Montanaro, Jordan Quivey, Ali Quivey, Mari Callahan, Jude Callahan, Alex Arconian, Jon Montanaro, Ashley Walmsley, Jesse Wheeler, David Bruemmer, Tricia Bergakker, Mike Snodgrass, Antoine Joulie-Mares, Ikon Joulie Mares, Angela Hueber, Pierre-Alain Hueber, Jeff Metcalfe, Edward Song, Susan Robinson, Jon Ohlgren, Greg Jensen, Jette Asher, Jette Mavris, Jane Asher, Kymberly L. Barlow, Jeremiah Barlow, Kanlaya Keyser, Alan Keyser, Angelina Keyser, Alan K Keyser, Alisa Keyser, Robert Brighton, Bonnie Brighton, Stephen Coetzer, Lynda Kest, Giovanni Vigna, Kimberly Bloom, Cara Christensen, Gary Fuller, Sonia Kermen, Elsha Narachi, Justin Sparks, Woody Sears, Makiko Zusho, Barbara Fuller, Christy Peterson, Aimee Roy, James Fuller, Bonnie Green, Patrick Cavanaugh, Janita Cavanaugh, Van Haas, Paul Arria, Paul Arria, Laurel Finster, Brian Finster, Michelle Kerwood, Monique Otero, Dan Otero, Barbara Srur, Marcel Srur, Taran Collis, Jonathan Micah Fitzgerald, Sascha Liebowitz, Stefanie Shuman, Craig Shuman, Robert Steinberg, Ashley Walmsley, Michelle Kerwood, Tamra Murphy, Lynn Barker, Amber Neely, Erin Duarte, Katie Osumi, Paul Darin, Tessa Darin , Kristen Riley, Eileen McQuade, Jim McQuade, Katie Szopa, Gabrielle Haas, Josiah Hamilton, Justine Hamilton, Claudia Jaco, Jack Larson, Nan Larson, A. Marcia, Michael Mavris, F. Bejar, Charie Skinnell, Ryan Skinnell, Miles Bramson, Cody Bramson


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