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WATCH: New conservative school board member calls out district’s woke leadership on hypocrisy

Matt Chaffee
Matt Chaffee, Member Elect of the Penn Harris Madison Board of School Trustees

GRANGER, Ind. — Penn Harris Madison’s newest school board member gave a fiery speech at Monday night’s board meeting, calling out the hypocrisy of several liberal board members and the district’s superintendent. Matt Chaffee, who won in the November 8th election and won’t take his seat until January, gave the speech during public comment. Chaffee spent three minutes deriding the district’s leadership for their involvement in attacking him, conservative parents and other conservative school board candidates.

“The last few months were an eye-opening experience for me. During this time, I witnessed how truly divided our community has become. While I did not witness the current leadership here working to bring the community together, I did witness the current leadership deepening the divide.” Chaffee started his speech out saying.

Chaffee then began laying out examples of attacks levied against him and others by the school district itself. The first example included a biased, hit-piece news article that was published in the South Bend Tribune, then shared with all PHM parents and staff through emails sent out by the Superintendent and all of the school principals.


“A local newspaper wrote an article containing various misinformation about the values on
which I was campaigning. A couple days after this article was published, (Superintendent) Jerry Thacker emailed it to all of the faculty. I issued a press release highlighting the mistruths in it. And privately, I emailed you, Jerry, after issuing my press release. I was hoping that you as the leader of this school corporation would not want to misinform your community and would want to correct the record. But you chose not to correct the record and never responded to my email. Furthermore, you chose on the following day to send the article with its misinformation to all PHM parents in your PHM School Corporation newsletter.” Chaffee said.

Chaffee also touched on how all of the liberal board members and the Superintendent remained silent while Chaffee and two other conservative candidates were defamed and slandered by teachers and members of the public who were actively campaigning for three of the liberal candidates.

“There have been other remarkable moments to date. While some were labeling (school board candidate) Bryan (Jones) and (school board candidate) Andy (Rutten) in addition to me extremists and white supremacists, some of you board members in front of me now remained silent. You did not speak out against the hate speech or vitriol. Why is that? We were even called Ku Klux Klan members. Let that sink in.” Chaffee said. “But the three of us continued defending our beliefs. During this time, I even was labeled a ‘deadbeat dad.’ Those familiar with my love, concern and efforts to provide a good life for my son would disagree. And despite all of this divisive rhetoric, how Bryan and Andy represented their children, wives, and family throughout the last few months says everything about the type of human beings they are.”

Chaffee is currently suing a woman for defamation related to the libelous comments. And, it turns out, PHM School Board president Chris Riley is actually representing the woman as her attorney.

“When I initially saw he was one of the attorneys of record, sadly it didn’t surprise me. However, I am shocked that he has yet to remove himself as far as I know.” Chaffee told RNM.

As of today’s date, Chaffee tells RNM that only one board member has reached out to congratulate him on his win.

“The silence is very telling.“ Chaffee said.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Proud of Matt for speaking up. Dr. Thackers comments after that are worth hearing as well. He doubled down in defense of his actions by calling IDOE data misinformation and that the public needed to know the truth. He’s incapable of acknowledging reality or truth if it hurts his “image”. He can’t be bothered that someone would call attention to one of his schools that has a 23% proficiency level on state tests. It’s too damaging to the “image”. He’s borderline lying in his remarks and it is very concerning that he is in charge. There is so much more dishonesty as well. The PHM leadership constantly uses facts of their choosing as a proxy for the entire district and spinning them into a misinformed picture to promote the image while leaving other inconvenient facts out of the presentation.

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