Tuesday, April 15, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Apology offered for petition tampering

By Kathy Glatter

I am the person responsible for submitting names and comments on the Davis GATE petition that were not my own. I would like to offer my most profound and heartfelt apologies to everyone whose name I listed without permission, to Davis Excel and to the entire community.

As many readers may know, in the context of a public debate about the Gifted and Talented Education program, a group called Davis Excel placed a petition on Change.org.

I was strongly supportive of the petition and signed it myself. My child is a disabled student. Every year for the past five years has been a bad year for him in school. Only this year in the GATE program has he turned around and become engaged in learning for the first time in class. I was deeply concerned that the school district would cancel the only program that has worked for my child.

I took my actions in an effort (clearly misguided) to express my political opinion. I did not intend for my actions to cause harm to anyone. None of that excuses the serious misjudgment that led me to add more names than my own to the petition, nor does it excuse the fact that I attributed some comments to names of real people in our community. That was wrong.

I realize now how important the integrity of that petition was to the community’s ability to honestly discuss the serious educational policy issues that we, as a community, face. I feel absolutely horrible that I created a distraction, when we could instead be focusing our attention on how to improve our schools.

The entire petition with all of the names has been completely removed from the Internet and is no longer available for review, for which I am grateful. I hope that this provides some comfort to the people whose names I placed on it. To everyone else, I am deeply sorry that a petition that may have helped move the debate forward is now gone.

This episode has affected our community in several other ways. It has the potential to make people more fearful of the Internet and potentially distrustful of the Internet’s ability to facilitate civic discourse. It may have shaken people’s faith in the transparency of our government process. And it has caused suspicion and division among those who care deeply about education policy, rather than uniting us in the common goal of working together in good faith to improve our educational system.

It has also affected the individuals involved. I am not a member of the Davis Excel group, and Davis Excel was not involved in these actions. To the extent they were affected as a result of my actions, I am deeply sorry.

Most of all, it has affected the individuals whose names I placed on the petition without permission, and in whose names I attributed comments under the “reasons for signing.” I added roughly 20 names of people who have children in Davis schools to the petition, accompanied by comments in support; I added roughly 10 people’s names to the petition that were not accompanied by comments, It was not my place to use the names of others, or to comment on their behalf.

I want to say a word about the people who I love. Please do not hold this against them. My family did not do this; I did.

I deeply regret my actions, and promise that I will never do anything like this again. I hope that the people affected by having their names placed on the GATE petition will feel better knowing what happened, how it happened, and how sorry I am for my poor judgment in this matter. Finally, I hope that my behavior will not negatively affect the very legitimate concerns on both sides of the GATE debate.

— Kathy Glatter is a Davis resident whose children attend North Davis Elementary School.

Special to The Enterprise

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Discussion | 6 comments

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  • Bob ErwinApril 15, 2013 - 9:17 pm

    I appreciate and respect Kathy Glatter for coming out and moving the debate back to focusing on our schools and the educational needs of every child in Davis.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Noreen MazelisApril 16, 2013 - 12:33 pm

    Bob Erwin "admire(s) and respect(s)" Kathy Glattner -- for what? She "came out" because she got caught. (When you're dumb enough to forge the name of Bob Dunning's wife to your bogus document, expect to get caught.) As for "moving the debate back to focusing on our schools, etc.", Glattner and her apologists must be very happy about that, as it takes the focus off them.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • AdrienneApril 16, 2013 - 3:19 pm

    Since Bob Erwin publicly accused those who seek a discussion about GATE of forging the signatures (in the Enterprise), can we also expect a public apology from him? His comments are offensive and disrespectful to all those whose names were forged and all those who were wrongfully accused...don't minimize this with "damage control".

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Susan JonesApril 16, 2013 - 4:36 pm

    I agree, what is wrong is in fact wrong, although, while we are all very concerned and focused, can I ask why would a student who is gifted (or any student for that matter) struggle in general education classrooms for five years?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Laurie LovingMay 03, 2013 - 8:47 pm

    Dear Susan, Perhaps you missed the fact that Kathy's son has a profound hearing loss that was undiagnosed until he was, if remember correctly, at least six years old. I will not try to convey the details of that story. As a hearing loss professional, however, I'm sure that had an enormous impact on her son's ability to acquire and convey language and information. As I'm unfamiliar with the complexity of Gate education, I will also not try to comment on her son's participation in that program. Sincerely, Laurie Loving, MSW

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mourning my hometownApril 16, 2013 - 7:10 pm

    As I no longer reside in Davis, I haven't followed this story blow-by-blow. What I do know is - Susan Jones, this discussion should be focused on the actions of Kathy Glatter. NOT her son.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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