Parents in the Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District were alerted this week by the School Committee that Superintendent Derek Swenson has requested a leave of absence for “personal reasons,” which will be acted on in executive session at the meeting Wednesday night.
Swenson famously delivered a graduation speech at BRHS while extremely drunk at the 43:30 mark.
“I would like to thank this op-tunity to welcome parents, family, friends, dignitaries, and of chorus all of the wonderful mmllllll-immigri-mayors-of-the-uh-the 2013-uh-2022 graduating class of Bridgewater-Ranium.”
However, he wasn’t the only drunk speaker at this graduation. At the 1:04:30 School Committee Chair Lillian Holbrook also gave the kids a memory they’d never forget.
In one one of the most obvious and transparent lies ever told, Swenson and Holbrook denied being drunk, and said that their inability to speak English was due to feedback from the speakers.
You can listen to the Salutatorian speak in between them and she doesn’t stutter, mispronounce a word, or slur her speech once. Yet Holbrook claims that she did, because otherwise their story about feedback issues wouldn’t make any sense. She willingly threw a child under the bus to cover for her own alcoholism.
We also spoke with a student who graduated that day and said that Swenson reeked of booze when she shook his hand. (59:15 mark)
The story made no sense because none of the other speakers had that issue. Swenson and the people covering for him said that it only malfunctioned when he and Holbrook spoke, but that didn’t make any sense either because a student who spoke between them had no such issues.
Swenson’s email insults the intelligence of every person who read it. They told the most obvious and blatant lie possible to the people who pay their salaries and didn’t care how it made them look. They knew that only the School Committee could get rid of Swenson, and since the Chair was also drunk neither would be held accountable.
They were counting on people forgetting about this over the summer. But the people of Bridgewater and Raynham are not stupid, and they don’t like having their intelligence insulted. People don’t like sending their children to a school district where the man in charge is an obvious liar with a substance abuse problem. It’s OK to be an alcoholic, but you can’t pretend that you’re not one when you clearly are, and continue to run a large district like B-R.
There is no doubt in my mind that parents began to send emails at the beginning of the school year and a discussion took place between Swenson and Holbrook. Take a leave of absence, get clean, collect your salary, and hope the problem goes away. But until Holbrook resigns the problem still remains.
Sources tell us that Swenson is going to rehab, and I hope he does because if you’re showing up to high school graduations piss drunk then you have a serious problem. Alcoholism doesn’t make you a bad person, but the people who enable it by pretending a problem isn’t there are doing harm to the addict. And Swenson was enabled by most elected officials in town. School Committee member Kevin Moreira is a self-described “straight shooter” and “very conservative.”
He made a post immediately afterwards bragging about how Swenson and Holbrook weren’t drunk, which proved that he was a straight shooter because he was ignoring the obvious and going against the grain, just so he could say he was going against the grain.
This man can’t spell or put together a sentence, but for some reason him and the box wine lady are in charge of the B-R Public Schools. He’s obviously a very stupid person, and 99% of the people in town are smarter than him. They’d have to be in order for him to believe anything that he wrote there. Clearly he was drunk. That was never even debatable, and anyone who believed he wasn’t should be disqualified from holding public office.
This is Bridgewater Town Councilman Shawn George.
This bootleg Gary Tanguay also enabled a man with an obvious alcohol problem by pretending the problem didn’t exist, and spreading misinformation and lies.
I might not have been there, but I know that this isn’t an audio problem:
It would’ve been one thing if this happened, Swenson and Holbrook admitted it, they got help, and then they went back to work. But instead they lied and covered it up. They went to great lengths to dig up audio from sporting events where the speakers were wearing ear phones and experienced audio feedback that affected their speech. But Swenson and Holbrook had no ear phones, and none of the other speakers had an issue. Just them.
The bigger problem here isn’t the fact that these two showed up drunk, it’s the fact that they lied about it afterwards. This is a horrible example for adults to set for the children who watched this happen. They’re not stupid either. They know what drunk people look and sound like. And the lesson that the adults in their school district taught them is that it’s better to lie than it is to admit you have a problem. If this is the kind of moral leadership that is being modeled in the public schools just imagine the long term effects this can have on the children witnessing it.
It’s not enough for Swenson to take time off, Lillian Holbrook must resign as well. Until she resigns she will still be sending the message to the children that lying pays off. Feel free to email members of this committee and demand that Holbrook step down as well for her dishonesty: