To the Editor:
The WIRE publishes false and misleading information via anonymous letters, such as the last issue which included incorrect information about me. The WIRE allows others to rebut letters, so why are the Marlins and I not given the opportunity to respond in the same issue? The letter looks very similar in content to a post by Susy del Campo, moderator of the RI Parents Network, – essentially a “bullying” network, that allows negative commentary to fester without rebuttal.
First, I’ve done numerous investigations, including court-appointed forensics and circumstances like the Marlins. Also, I successfully mediated a contentious/similar issue with the RI Garden Club.
Second, several parents are fear-mongering with worries over photographs, being around the pool, etc. Pictures of children in bathing suits (normal public attire) already appear in a front page WIRE article (Marlins, Jan 7, 2017). The RI Marlins board requested I investigate several issues, one of them concerning the pool area: I sought to have a photo of the coach on the far side of the pool and one of the bleachers (not the children), which were related to the investigation. Unfortunately, one parent (who regularly overreacts) “went crazy and started screaming” (as described by other parents), upsetting the practice. I filed a Public Safety complaint against her (not to mention, she violated the Marlins code of conduct).
Third, here is a sample of complaints that stir up fear based upon misleading information from Susy from Facebook: “But really hired Frank Farance and allowed him in the pool and let him take pictures; that’s way out of line. They know he will keep the files till he feels the urge to use them! The kids aren’t safe with him, that’s why RIOC has banned him from the Youth Center; he can’t enter PS/IS 217 any more during Beacon time (as he did in the past to take pictures). That’s putting the kids and the parents at risk! He’s a bully, he uses the pictures to create stories and then he posts them in the blog, or the daily news; he emails everyone including all RIOC and elected officials…”
Here’s the reality: RIOC has banned all adults, including Susy, from the Youth Center, unless they have a reason to be there – this makes sense for the children’s safety. The previous Beacon provider (RIYP) asked me to take photos of events, such as the year-end talent show. I’ve had similar requests from Main Street Theatre, Island Kids, RI Marlins, Main Street Sweets, RIOC, and off-Island organizations – they all love the photos. These organizations ask me to forward the photos to the RI Blog, RI Daily, The Main Street WIRE, RIOC, and our elected officials. And those photos of parents, children, neighbors, etc. having fun are published by those news organizations – all good stuff.
In other words, a completely innocuous reality, but recklessly turned into fear and stoked by a few parents.
Editor’s Note: The WIRE, at times, agrees to withhold a writer’s name when the writer articulates reasonable concern that the subject matter of the letter is sensitive and may lead to some sort of retaliation. Such consideration is given only once the writer’s name and email are submitted for verification. Frank Farance insinuates that an unsigned letter in our last issue was written by Susana Del Campo Perea, and, although we will not break the confidentiality we promised that writer, we are comfortable confirming that Del Campo Perea did not write the letter.