Letter: Whomsley is a bully and does not represent WCASD families

To The Editor,

As a voter in WCASD Region 3 and a parent of a severely disabled child, I have watched while Stacey Whomsley has repeatedly used her child’s disability to claim that she represents kids with disabilities. While I disagreed with her on some points, I have always maintained that the Special Needs Family crowd is a big tent with room for many different opinions. But I do think, as a voter, I should be able to question those running for office without being censored or bullied.

I had remained silent while Ms. Whomsley harassed anyone who questioned her for any reason, often weaponizing her child’s disability for personal and political gain while ignoring the concerns of voters she hopes to represent. As administrator of a Facebook parents’ group, she swiftly developed a reputation for shutting down anyone whose opinions differed from her own—often using her position as the mother of a child with special needs to guilt her audience into apologizing for possibly offending her. The group quickly became a bully pulpit ruled with a tyrannical iron fist; a leadership style she then carried onto her campaign page. Question her, and you will receive a swift, insult-laden rebuke. Then you will be deleted or blocked.

I recently broke my silence to ask Ms. Whomsley a question on her campaign Facebook page.  Upon learning her position that the relatively simple mask-exemption policy was too burdensome for her—therefore she felt there should be no mask requirements for ANY students— I asked what standards public officials should use to weigh the needs of the community at large against the wants of a small but vocal group of parents. I felt it was only fair to ask her how she believes officials should juggle various constituent groups and their needs when it comes to matters such as masking.

In response, Ms. Whomsley launched an attack on me personally. She accused me of minimizing children with disabilities and insulting families of special needs children. When others defended me, she bullied them as well. When I defended myself, she hid my responses and then deleted them, thus using her page to silence those she claims to represent. This time Ms. Whomsley has picked the wrong person to bully.

As the mom of a severely disabled child in Region 3, I am Ms. Whomsley’s target audience. The fact that she did not already know those things about me is not her fault. However, the fact that she did not care to know those things about me before launching an all-out personal attack is very much her fault.

Ms. Whomsley says her motivation is her child. I understand that; we all want what is best for our children. However, wanting to do what is best for one’s own child is not the job of a school director. A school director must serve all of the children in the district, not only her own.

Parents of children with special needs are aware that what is best for their child might not be best for the student body as a whole. Many of us have other children who do not have special needs, so we see this discrepancy play out within our own families every day. In fact, there are many such parents taking the mask issue to court: in states such as Texas with bans on mask mandates, families of students with special needs are banding together to sue their states for effectively excluding special needs students from public education by rendering schools unsafe for in-person education for the children who need it most.

Within the disability community there is room for dialogue on this issue. In her campaign for the public trust, Ms. Whomsley’s focus on how the rules should benefit her family above the needs of all others is disqualifying, as are her hair-trigger temper and her notoriously aggressive behavior. Additionally, her alliance with a candidate that is well known for her QAnon-promoting Twitter persona shows that, at best, Ms. Whomsley is a terrible judge of character.

Is this the way we think our district should be led? With intimidation, victimhood, and narcissistic authoritarianism?  What kind of transparency are we to expect from Stacey Whomsley as a School Director if this is the way she is already treating voters?

As a parent of a disabled child, let me assure you that Stacey Whomsley does not speak for me. Voters should know that Ms. Whomsley does not speak for them, either. Ms. Whomsley has made it clear in all of her public and private actions she serves herself and herself alone.

Laura McNulty Patarcity

East Bradford

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