I spent most of yesterday fielding well wishes from dear friends and perfect strangers as I watched the view count on my post steadily rise. I also spent a decent amount of time in therapy mode as my children continue to process their trauma. We had to stop by the grocery store for a few things, and the clerk asked if we had another snow day or if we homeschool. I replied that we homeschool, but my very verbal son piped in, “We were fired from TCA!”. I then told her our experience and, with a look of absolute horror about what I just revealed, she asked if she could give my kiddos a sucker. I calmly consented while my internal monologue went something like, “You want to reward my sugar-loving child with candy after he opened up to a total stranger about the most significant trauma he has ever endured in his young life? BRING IT ON!!!” Yeah, that’s how I do things.
Back to people’s responses about my post. Sprinkled within the truly overwhelming support (most victims who come forward with their stories are not very kindly received), there were these sincere moments of confusion as people tried to make sense of what happened. I get it. There is so much of what happened that I find confusing that I can totally empathize with their struggle. But here’s the thing. Most of us expect at least an attempt of doing what is right from a Christian organization. Even the best systems are run by flawed human beings, and yet, when you read our account, there didn’t seem to be even a sincere attempt to handle the conflict appropriately. What’s the deal? Our family’s expulsion was not the first abusive act committed by the Board. It is probably the most egregious and will hurt their reputation of being an institute of virtue the most, but it is definitely not the first.
Just over a year ago Sara Breetzke, the Head of School, met with a group of co-teachers to touch base and talk about the school. As the conversation went on, the issue of how board members are selected came up. It was at this time that we learned that all board members were selected by the President (Bob Thune) and that the President could re-up his term as many times as he wanted. This didn’t exactly go over well. Couple this with the fact that TCA is a registered 501(c)(3) and has never provided a financial statement to the families, and one can really understand why some of us parents began to mistrust the Board. Promises were made (by Sara Breetzke and Spencer Finley) about improving transparency that included providing parents with minutes from the Board’s closed-door sessions, informing the parents of the Board’s governing procedures, and regular financial statements. Not one of these promises were kept. I brought these problems up again last summer with Anna Little, one of the Founding Board Members, and she told me that she didn’t think they needed to release financial statements because the school has no money. Yeah, not ok.
I hope that as one sees the planned and purposeful lack of accountability and transparency that the Board has enabled, one can more thoroughly understand this system of abuse. Also, I hope this further demonstrates why I believe resignation proves repentance. Anyone who so clearly has abused their power should know that they are not capable of handling this kind of responsibility. I do have to admit, however, that this does not provide much clarity as to why Sara Breetzke began to question our family’s standing at the school other than the fact that we elected to not return for the 2019-2020 term, a decision that I am thinking is more understood now.
Please continue to be in prayer for my family, especially my children. Explaining and recovering from trauma caused by emotional and spiritual abuse is hard enough for us adults to handle that I’m sure one can imagine the struggle for us to find appropriate language to use with little ones.
Thank you especially to all of you who have reached out to us this week. Knowing that we are not alone in this is so very comforting.