The other side of the story


To the Editor:

I have sent this letter to the Oak Bluffs selectmen and town administrator.

This letter is in defense of Shirley Fauteux and in response to a complaint which appeared in the July 8 edition of The Times Letters to the Editor [“Bad treatment” by Jonathan Laird] about the behavior of health department agent Shirley Fauteux.

Shirley checks immunizations at the openings of Oak Bluffs camps. That is her job, whether parents or teachers like it or not. If people get their paperwork in in a timely manner, there are no issues.

On Monday, July 5, Mr. Laird entered Featherstone’s camp with his young son, Jack. Mr. Laird was angry that he had to show a physician-signed immunization record. He would have had to show it to me, but Shirley was there, and he was angry at Shirley before she even had a chance to examine what papers he brought in. He brought in personal family notes, not the required forms, and when Shirley showed the booklets he brought in to me, I agreed that these were not the proper forms. Shirley said she was sorry, these were not acceptable and that his child could not be admitted to our camp. Whereupon, he shouted his anger, naming Shirley Fauteux.

Shirley was businesslike and precise. Mr. Laird could have directed his anger and frustration to me, as I did not accept his documents either. Other campers who have been turned away without proper immunization forms make the effort to get the appropriate forms, and they return and are admitted to camp.

Our Featherstone staff asks for immunization records to be brought to Featherstone before the first day of camp. If this request is met, there would be no need for any confrontation on the day of camp.

In your discussions about this matter, please recognize two things:

Shirley Fauteux was doing her job. Mr. Laird was angry that he did not have the proper paperwork, and he chose to take out his anger on Shirley

Thank you for looking at another side of the story.

Francine Kelly

Executive Director

Featherstone Center for the Arts

Oak Bluffs