Candidate for School Committee Kelly Horton issued an apology on Friday morning for using an email list from the BEST Student Directory to circulate a campaign letter seeking support in Saturday’s election. The letter was targeted to Davis School families.
Horton acknowledged that it had been brought to her attention that her letter “…violated the policy regarding the use of emails in the Directory.” She wrote further, “I sincerely apologize and take full responsibility; it was truly an honest mistake and will not happen again. I want to make it clear that the Davis School and BEST PTO had no involvement with my email. I hope that you will accept my apology.”
The use of the email list for campaigning elicited an immediate response from School Superintendent Philip Conrad and Davis School Principal Beth Benoit: “The purpose of the BEST Directory is to foster community, it is not to be used for marketing purposes and it was,” they wrote in a joint message that went out to Davis School families following receipt of Horton’s campaign email.
The message went on to say that Horton’s letter “…was not approved or endorsed by the Davis School Staff or BEST, our Parent Organization. We do not endorse any candidates for town elected offices.” The two pointed to language on page two of the Directory which states that use of information “…including email addresses is ONLY for classroom, personal, and BEST activities.”
Also in the message from Conrad and Benoit were assurances that the school’s ASPEN Data system “…was not breached. Instead, the BEST Directory was misused.” They acknowledged that apologies from both the candidate and BEST had been sent out to those who received the original email.