Editor's note: The Darien Times does not, has not and will not remove comments from its website unless they are libelous. In the process of converting to a new website platform some of our comments were inadvertently removed. Those comments have been restored and the story is linked here.\u00a0 To the Editor: Just a few years ago, a small group of courageous Darien parents got together to speak out on behalf of some of our most vulnerable children, in order to influence positive change in our community.\u00a0\u00a0That group spoke out at Darien Board of Education meetings, used FOIA and FERPA laws, and eventually uncovered a pervasive and widespread pattern of illegal behavior in the Darien Public Schools.That group of parents met with great resistance - from other parents, from community members, and especially from the BoE.\u00a0\u00a0The individuals who led the charge were not liked nor welcomed.\u00a0 They challenged the status quo and made people feel uncomfortable.\u00a0 Progress took years.\u00a0 But they fought for, and eventually got, an independent investigation.https:\/\/www.darientimes.com\/?p=123087That independent investigation eventually helped change the district - and our town - for the better.\u00a0 Back then, The Darien Times played a vital and critical role in helping those special education children in need. Sadly, we have not learned from the past.\u00a0\u00a0History is repeating itself.\u00a0\u00a0Apparently, we still do live in "Darien Place" - a town that prefers to "cover-up" wrongs, and "blame and shame" anyone and everyone, who has the temerity report them. Over the past few weeks, I have presented\u00a0actual documents\u00a0- not "emailed accusations", but\u00a0real, actual documents\u00a0- from the Darien Board of Education - showing abusive treatment of our students and athletes.\u00a0\u00a0These documents describe a coach physically assaulting a child, a teacher cyberbullying\u00a0a student on-line, and young girls being forced, in the middle of the night, into a cabin to perform sexual dances against their will, and a father paying girls to do table dances.No one - not one person - has denied these events occurred.\u00a0\u00a0Because they know - as we ALL know - that they\u00a0did occur.\u00a0\u00a0They are all documented in\u00a0actual, real\u00a0BoE records.\u00a0\u00a0So the only thing the bullies in town can say is: "Go away, Jay."The truth is - the silent, VAST majority in town\u00a0 is terrified to stand up to the town bullies.\u00a0 They are afraid, with very good reason, that their children will be attacked and destroyed, as these bullies immediately reframe, and make-up, stories about the child victim(s), the child victim's parents, and anyone who dares to come to their aid.\u00a0\u00a0They bombard social media.\u00a0\u00a0All of this is done in an effort to intimidate, silence and shame the victims and their families. But I am not afraid.\u00a0 I am the voice for all of those people in our town - and for all of those children, who are not protected.\u00a0 I am the voice for change.I am calling for an independent investigation of these cases.\u00a0\u00a0Not an investigation, where the investigator is hand-picked by the Board of Ed's attorneys (as was the case in the special education investigation), but a full, complete and legitimate investigation.\u00a0\u00a0The investigator must be truly independent, approved by the victims and their families, and have broad, sweeping authority to look at all available evidence.Nothing\u00a0would make me happier than to be able to handover everything I have to an independent investigator.\u00a0\u00a0I would step aside gladly and permit such an investigator to take over, and I am fully prepared to accept the findings of a truly independent investigator- as we all should be.The editor of this newspaper has seen the\u00a0actual\u00a0video of a teacher assaulting a student.\u00a0\u00a0She has seen a teacher cyberbully a student on her paper's own website.\u00a0\u00a0She has spent multiple hours speaking to a girl forced against her will into a cabin that night.\u00a0\u00a0She has seen, firsthand, the deep and devastating impact these incidents have had on the victims and their families, and even reported on one in another, related context.This paper got it right in one respect: this abuse IS impacting real people.\u00a0\u00a0It IS impacting real families.\u00a0\u00a0It IS impacting real children.\u00a0\u00a0It IS devastating these children and their families.\u00a0\u00a0I have seen it - and so has the editor of this newspaper.I call upon The Darien Times to join me and other town officials, who have already spoken out, as well as the countless other parents and families in town too afraid to speak up, and call for an independent investigation.\u00a0\u00a0Instead of\u00a0removing\u00a0the comments from your website, which ask for an independent investigation (as happened earlier this week),\u00a0join\u00a0those voices - in the interest of our children and families. Don't be one of the bullies."Darien Place" should be a place where ALL children are physically and emotionally safe.\u00a0 "Darien Place" should be a place where all of our professional education staff should be working to lift children up, not to tear them down.\u00a0 "Darien Place" should be a place, where parents can send their children off to school or to athletic events and not have to worry that something horrible might happen to their child.I close by sharing just one of the notes I received this week from a parent in town:\u00a0\u00a0"I\u00a0thank\u00a0you, on behalf of Darien families, for your tireless efforts to advocate for the children and expose the ugly truths that threaten this town."Please join me in making "Darien Place" a great place to live. Jay Hardison 11 Nearwater Lane Mr. Hardison is a member of the Representative Town Meeting and a member of the RTM's Education Committee.