Childpeace Montessori School Board Open Letter

An Open Letter to the Childpeace Montessori School Board on the Eve of Its “State of the School” (March 14, 2024)

Dear School Board Members,

As “Pi Day” approaches, I regret to inform you that my son and I will be out of state during the “State of the School” meeting. However, I wish to share some reflections that, if possible, I would present in person.

Childpeace School is esteemed for its many virtues, yet my family’s ordeal has unveiled challenges that merit the board’s attention. Amidst a tumultuous divorce and custody dispute, we’ve encountered biases and exclusionary practices that conflict with the principles of neutrality and inclusivity the school purports to uphold.

In today’s politically charged environment, the significance of free speech and constructive discourse cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, it appears that these fundamental values sometimes take a back seat at Childpeace, supplanted by unwritten norms that inadvertently foster division. It is imperative that we strive for a culture of openness and mutual growth, particularly in an educational setting that aims to prepare our children not just academically, but morally and ethically as well.

I acknowledge my part in the misunderstandings that have arisen, particularly in the initial stages of my personal challenges. Yet, I am committed to fostering an environment of understanding and cooperation. This letter itself was crafted with assistance from an AI, not just for editorial input, but as a safeguard against the constraints on free speech I’ve been warned about. The school has intimated that expressing certain views could lead to restrictions on my access, citing past instances where my presence was deemed intimidating. This concern underscores the importance of transparent communication and the need to address and reconcile differing perspectives constructively.

Our collective commitment to Childpeace is driven by a belief in the comprehensive educational experience it provides — one that encompasses academic rigor, social development, and ethical formation under the broad canopy of ‘education.’ Let us not shy away from the challenges that confront us but view them as opportunities for communal growth and learning.

Despite everything, my son and I have found solace and support within the Childpeace community. His fondness for his classmates, the staff, and the school environment is a testament to the enduring values that Childpeace embodies. It is in this spirit that I hope we can move forward, guided by the wisdom of Albert Einstein, who reminded us that “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Let us seize this opportunity to enhance our dialogue, understanding, and ultimately, our community for the betterment of our children’s future.


John (GPT) Fial

Draft 1:

Dear School Board Members,

As we approach “Pi Day” and the upcoming “State of the School” meeting, I feel compelled to share some reflections which I believe warrant your consideration.

Childpeace Montessori School boasts many admirable qualities that have rightfully earned it praise and appreciation. However, my family’s journey through a challenging divorce and custody battle has exposed us to a less commendable aspect of the school’s environment. Despite expectations of neutrality as outlined in the school’s handbook, our experiences have been marred by bias, exclusion, and various forms of harassment. Such experiences not only contravene the spirit of inclusivity and open dialogue the school promotes but also reflect broader societal tensions that we, as a community, should strive to transcend.

In this climate of heightened political sensitivity, the principles of free speech and constructive engagement are more crucial than ever. Yet, it seems that at times, these principles are sidelined in favor of unwritten norms that serve to alienate rather than unite. As someone committed to the well-being and education of our children, I believe we can do better. We must strive for a culture of openness, where challenges are met with dialogue and growth, rather than exclusion.

I acknowledge my own missteps along this journey, particularly during the initial, more tumultuous months. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that mutual understanding and cooperation are within our reach. The goal of our collective involvement with Childpeace—above and beyond the safety and convenience it offers—is to foster an educational environment that nurtures not only academic excellence but also moral and ethical growth.

Let us remember the lessons of history, which teach us that ignoring our darker inclinations only allows them to fester. By facing our challenges head-on and embracing opportunities for growth, we uphold our mission to provide our children with a holistic and meaningful education.

Throughout this period of personal upheaval, Childpeace has continued to be a source of positive experiences for my son and me. We have felt the warmth of the community at school events, and my son cherishes his relationships with his classmates, the school environment, and most of the staff. This reassures me that despite the challenges, the core values of Childpeace remain alive in its people.

On this day, as we celebrate the mathematical wonders of “Pi” and honor the birthday of Albert Einstein, let us draw inspiration from Einstein’s resilience and curiosity. He famously said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” May we embrace this spirit, facing our difficulties as opportunities to learn, grow, and come together for the sake of our children’s future.


John (GPT) Fial