Letter: Putting Children First

To the Editor:

We want to begin by thanking the anonymous donor for his most generous contribution, which allows our grandson Lucian Vigneault to finish the school year at Hanover Street School in Lebanon. You chose to place a child’s well-being and stability above all else. Your good deed places children first and teaches a lesson that matters most.

Next, we are extremely proud of our son Edmund for being the parent he is and for fighting to do what is right for his son Lucian and Lucian’s younger brother. He is providing his children the love, stability and much-needed healing they need given the seriousness of the situation both boys have been through.

Everyone understands that policies and rules are written for a reason. At the same time, however, exceptions can be allowed depending on the seriousness of the situation, especially when it involves children. Having attended the School Board meeting on April 9 with my son Edmund, this was my observation: Superintendent Gail Paludi was ruthless; School Board Chairman Jeff Peavey was callous. Then there was the comment in the April 12 edition of the Valley News from Beverly Sletten, a former teacher and ex-School Board member, which showed she was heartless. Truly none of these individuals were caring about the children. Many would agree that when any child is placed last, it is the child who is scarred and silently believes the situation is his fault. These scars can leave a lasting impact until they explode. Is this what we want to see happen to our children?

Finally, we want to say thank you to the many caring individuals, teachers, parents and Upper Valley residents who understood and offered to help. Also thank you to staff writer David Corriveau and the Valley News for the exceptional articles in following this important issue involving the treatment of children’s needs. The bureaucracy can be impeding, but we must fight and stand up for what is right for the children if we are to create upstanding and responsible adults.

In closing, placing children first is what this is about.

Eugene and Elaine Vigneault