Are Bethel Parents/Residents Being Censored? The Next Bethel Board of Education ‘Special Meeting’ About ‘School Opening Plan 2021- 2022’ Has Strict Rules for Public Comments, Aug. 16th

Report by Paula Antolini, August 15, 2021, 2:16PM EDT

The next Bethel Board of Education Special Meeting is on Monday, August 16, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. in the Bethel Middle School Media Center, 600 Whittlesey Drive, Bethel, CT. (Note different location than usual.) The agenda is: School Opening Plan 2021- 2022.

There are specific instructions about public comments, listed in the meeting agenda, under “Audience Participation” as follows:

“Please note: The Board welcomes Public Participation and asks that speakers please limit their comments to 2 minutes. Speakers may offer objective comments of school operations and programs that concern them. The Board will not permit any expression of personal complaints or defamatory comments about Board of Education personnel and students, nor against any person connected with the Bethel Public School System.”

The agenda also reads:

“The mission of the Bethel Public Schools is to foster a culture of excellence and achievement accomplished through strong, collaborative relationships and rigorous teaching and learning opportunities for all learners. Our graduates will be compassionate, skilled and inquisitive individuals, who take initiative in making positive contributions to society. ” We expect tonight’ s Board meeting to be one more step in that process.”


View an August 11, 2021 letter issued to Parents, Guardians and Staff by Bethel Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Christine Carver, about the Opening of School Plan:

“The Board of Education will have a special meeting on Monday, August 16, 2021, to receive an update on
the Opening of School Plan (i.e., mitigation strategies) for the 2021-2022 school year. We invite any
interested parents or community members to attend to get the most up-to-date information. There will
be an opportunity for public comment. The meeting is at 6:00 PM at Bethel Middle School in the
Learning Commons (library-media center).

“Not much has changed with regards to recommendations/requirements/guidance on mitigation
strategies for schools since my last update. The only exception is that two days after my last
correspondence the Governor issued Executive Order 13A. The highlighted section specifically
addresses face coverings or masks in schools. Currently, the Governor gives the Department of Public
Health the authority to require masks in certain settings. If you click on the link in the Executive Order,
PreK-12 schools are on the list of requiring masks, regardless of vaccination status. Unless rescinded, this
order is in effect until September 30, 2021. In addition, the current Board of Education policy (5141.8),
which was passed last August (2020), requires the use of face masks based on public health guidance. If
anything changes with masking recommendations from the Department of Public Health and the
Connecticut State Department of Education, the Board will meet to review the existing policy.”

If you are unable to attend the meeting on August 16th and would like to give input on our Opening Plan,
please send your comments to Please include your name and address in the
email. Please note, any Board of Education correspondence will become part of the public record.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at