Vermont National Education Association President and "The MMU Piece"
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On September 26, 2000 the president of ForTheChildrenInc., Bruce Wilder,
received the following anonymous phone message on his home answering
machine: Click Here and Listen
to the Anonymous Phone Message
(Length: 0:45 )
Some points to note regarding this message:
Caller fails to identify himself.
Caller fails to leave a number or other means for Mr. Wilder to return
The caller's primary concern is with the "MMU piece" on ForTheChildrenInc.'s
The tone of the message is aggressive and intimidating.
The message contains the following threatening language;
Note, caller leaves it up to the listener to wonder whether 'compelled'
has a physical or legal connotation.
The message was left two days prior to the MMU school board session where
the other members of the board and their advocates, including Angelo Dorta,
VT NEA president, were to pressure the author of the 'MMU piece', Mr. Wolcott
'Tut' Parmly, into removing his letter from our web site.
The caller ID revealed only a telephone number which was unrecognized by
Mr. Wilder. Upon calling the number, Mr. Wilder was astonished
to hear the answering system identify the office of the Vermont NEA in
Following a press release on October 3 by ForTheChildrenInc. concerning
the intimidating phone call, the VT NEA Headquarters was contacted by the
managing editor of The Dwinell-Sternberg Report. Vermont NEA Communications
director Laurie Huse said "I don't know a thing about it. I can't
imagine that anybody in this office would be making an anonymous phone
call. I cannot imagine who it might be."
"...remove the scurrilous piece and get it off your web site, get it off
"I will pursue this, and continue to pursue it until you will be compelled
to take it off. Take off the MMU piece."
During a second call to the VT NEA by the managing editor, Dorta admitted
that he was the unidentified caller who left the September 26 message on
Mr. Wilder's home answering machine. When asked why he didn't leave
his name he said "There was no need for a call back." In response
to the question of what he meant when he said Mr. Wilder would "be
compelled", Dorta said that he meant he would "bring enough pressure
to bear" on the organization to have them remove the letter.
It is interesting to note that Dorta placed the anonymous long
distance call from a telephone at the VT NEA headquarters in Montpelier
during regular business hours, and yet the Burlington Free Press reported
on September 29 that Dorta "emphasized that he acted as a parent who lives
in the school district and not as an official with the teachers union."
On October 3, shortly after the Dorta's discussion with the managing
editor, he placed two additional calls to Mr. Wilder. Click
Here and Listen to Dorta's Follow-up Calls (Length: 2:01
Some points to note regarding these follow-up messages:
ForTheChildrenInc. believes that the anonymous call was intended to intimidate
us into removing the MMU piece just prior to the increased publicity surrounding
the September 28 school board meeting.
During his earlier conversation with the managing editor, Dorta claimed
he did not leave his name because there was "no need for a call back".
Later, in these follow-up messages, he seems to indicate that
the principle reason for the initial call was to speak to someone
about a letter he claims ForTheChildrenInc. was sending out to the community.
However, he never mentions this "community" letter in the initial
call, but rather was only concerned with getting the MMU piece off the
web site "now".
It seems to fly in the face of reason to think that someone would leave
this kind of an anonymous message when as he said "...I did not even know
who I was talking to, if indeed I had the right person."
The "apology" Dorta makes is ONLY for the apparent "oversight" of not leaving
his name during his initial call, not for the intimidating tone and threatening
language used. This so-called "oversight" is not what one would
expect from a president of an organization who is trying to "contact" the
president of another organization.
Finally, why was the Vermont NEA president trying so hard to have the
"MMU piece" removed from our web site? After all, the MMU letter
itself had no mention of the NEA. Could it be that the VT NEA does
not want the public to find out that indeed homosexuality is being promoted
in Vermont schools? By its actions in the MMU situation, including
the anonymous phone call placed from the VT NEA headquarters, it seems
like the VT NEA is implicating itself in the ongoing debate on whether
or not homosexuality is being promoted in the Vermont public schools.