On November 14, 2018, my husband I and I received an email from Sara Breetzke, Head of School of Trinity Classicial Academy (TCA), inquiring if we were available to meet with her the next morning to discuss our experience at TCA and “the rest of the school year”. As the conversation continued, Travis and I became more and more alarmed about the repeated mentions of the current school year especially because we had just made our second tuition payment. Fast forward to December 20 when we received notice of our dismissal from the school because of our “dissatisfaction”, and we knew our concerns that day were rightly justified.
So how does a situation like this escalate so quickly? Below, I’ve set up a timeline of events so everyone can see at least the communication we had with the Board. I wish I could more fully explain it, but there is so much that we still don’t know. We don’t know which Board Members voted to have us removed, and which ones didn’t. We don’t know how many of them had made their decision about us before Anna had cancelled our meeting set for December 14, 2018, versus those who did so after we spoke to a lawyer. And we still don’t know why Sara began question our intention to finish out the school year. We do know one thing however: the Board members of TCA abused their power when they disregarded the expectations set up in the handbook and expelled us. Composing a post like this is hard. Going back and reading and listening to Sara act as though nothing serious was going on while our family felt under threat exposes how open those wounds still are for us. It is my hope that as we shine the light on the private sins of TCA’s Board, they will be moved to quickly repent publicly (to not just my family but to all TCA families) and resign from their positions of leadership.
Our children have good days and bad. Knowing that they did nothing wrong and that their teachers are not mad at them helped. We are having to go outside of our current textbooks to develop the curriculum we will use for the rest of the semester as they process the trauma that they have experienced. Resignation proves repentance, repentance proceeds reconciliation, the virtue of restitution, the blessing of boundaries, and telling the truth about your story is courageous (not gossip) are all lessons that are being added to our scope and sequence.
Yesterday I was talking to my best friend, and she wanted to know what she could “do” to help because she is a woman of action. I’ll tell you what I’ve told her and everyone else. Pray. Pray for healing for our family and for the Board of TCA to repent. Also, believe victims. We are not the only family to be mistreated by TCA and should others choose to come forward, we hope that you will be generous in how you receive their experiences as well.
Thanks for taking the time to read our story.
Time line of events
11.14.2018 Email exchange with Sara Breetzke. Anna Little reached out to schedule meeting without Sara present.
11.15.2018 Sarah interrupts a conversation I was having with two other moms in the pickup line. “We will still meet. I know we are in the middle of an email back and forth, but I will get back to you and we WILL meet.” Asked other parents if Sara was trying to meet with all them, and the answer was no.
11. 20. 2018 Sara sent the children outside for pickup while I was inside (safety issue and pickup protocol was not followed).
12.06.2018 Began to stay in van at drop off and pickup until I saw other families around. Wanted to make sure than all in-person encounters would be witnessed by other parents. A member of the school’s administrative team asked how we were doing at the school, and I broke down crying. The stress of the harassment just got to me.
11:53 a.m. Received voice mail from Sara. Her message indicated that Travis and I had been wanting to meet with her. Sent a response via email that we were not comfortable meeting with her (due to what we deemed as passive threats about the spring semester). *see article concerning Gaslighting at bottom of post
12.10.2018 Received a Facebook Message from Anna Little (was sent previous day) cancelling our meeting without giving a reason or an option to reschedule. I told her that given the continued harassment and hostility that Travis and I were experiencing at TCA, we would be speaking with a lawyer as to how to protect ourselves moving forward. Anna had previously indicated that she was interested in providing more direction at Valor School in Omaha. I felt that her focus should be on fixing the problems at TCA before trying to work with another school. I had begun writing a memo to list out actionable steps the Board could take to improve TCA but did not finish it once the meeting was cancelled.
12.12.2018 Received email from Sara Breetzke concerning our claims of harassment and hostility. Anna Little had not yet responded to my FB message but instead had the person harassing us try to schedule another meeting. I asked Travis to respond this time because Sara was not respecting the boundaries I was attempting to establish. He replied to the email saying that we are not comfortable having a meeting with her (3rd request) and to not approach me when I am at the school to pick up or drop off our children.
12.14.2018 Email exchange with Phil Belin I chose not to meet with Phil in-person for reasons that I’m not comfortable posting here at this time.
12.18.2018 Learned that Anna Little had approached my mother at church (on 12.16.2018) to discuss our situation and to discredit our claims of harassment.
12.20.2018 Received letter from Spencer Finley on behalf of the Board dismissing us from TCA for our “dissatisfaction”. A pro-rated refund of our tuition was included.
12.21.2018 Learned that Anna Little had informed my mother of our expulsion the night before, and was squarely putting the blame on us. First it was because we consulted a lawyer, but then we learned that she had cancelled the meeting with us because the decision had already been made. Ironically, we only called a lawyer once we realized Anna had no intention of telling Sara to just leave us alone for the rest of the year.
TCA Board Members
Gaslighting from Wikipedia
11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting from Psychology Today
How to Know if You’re a Victim of Gaslighting from Psychology Today
20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You from Thought Catalog