Marpe, Scarice Address Capitol Attack

In response to yesterday’s insurrection at the US Capitol, 1st Selectman Jim Marpe said:

As the chief elected officer of Westport, to watch the behavior and the blatant abrogation of responsibility by the Chief Elected Officer of the United States was discouraging and disgusting.

I am embarrassed for our country. Thankfully, as a community, our local elected officials regularly participate in a civil and respectful process that gives me hope and confidence that our democracy can and will survive.

In addition, Superintendent of Schools Tom Scarice wrote to parents:

I watched the events at the Capitol today with utter disbelief and abject sadness.  By now I’m sure you’ve read countless comments and reflections about the lawlessness and violent attack on our democracy incited by the reckless behaviors and comments of some of our elected officials, including our sitting President.  All I can add to this commentary is my condemnation.

My purpose for addressing the school community is to reassure parents that our team will be ready to receive our students Thursday and serve them in the most professional manner. This is our calling, among the noblest of professions.

Our team is working this evening to make certain that faculty and staff have resources assembled to support their work tomorrow and beyond. Each building principal will meet with faculty and staff to prepare them for the day. Highest among our priorities is to assure each child that they are safe in the school environment.

Thomas Scarice (Photo courtesy of

Each level will work to maintain an age-appropriate approach. The elementary level will not initiate group discussions on this topic but will be responsive to individual students as the need arises. We cannot make assumptions about how parents prefer to approach such topics with our youngest learners. As a result, we will be responsive in nature. If conversations and questions persist, and an elementary teacher needs to briefly address the class, parents will be informed so that they can appropriately follow up with their child.

The middle school level will address the events of the day in their social studies classes, primarily with a civics lens. It is likely that middle school students have encountered a good deal of unfamiliar historical and political language today related to the process of certifying the election, and the manner in which the behaviors at the Capitol have been characterized by the media, and also social media.

Additionally, the natural inquisitive nature of early adolescence typically sparks dialogue about current events. Our social studies teachers are being provided with tools and resources to facilitate discussions while providing context for our students to comprehend the events of the day, and the implications as we move forward. Any student in need of additional intervention will be addressed through our support staff at the middle school level.

The high school level will also address these events in social studies classes.  Teachers will facilitate the discussion as students generate the questions. Our high school students are close to voting age. Among the relevant topics for classroom discussions are the process of elections, the constitutional role of Congress in presidential elections, and the idea that the events that transpired today are more about our democracy than politics. Alternative spaces will be provided for students during lunch waves and throughout the day to provide support when needed on an individual basis.

This is an emotional time and there will be a range of strong feelings from anger to sadness and fear. There will also be a great deal of confusion on the part of our students. Our high school community is just beginning to grieve the loss of a beloved classmate and the lingering emotional impact of the pandemic remains.  We will aim to validate our students’ feelings and questions, while doing our best to work through some very complex issues.

These strong feelings will be experienced by both students and adults. In my experience, these are the times when the humanity of our work intersects with our professional responsibilities. We are an organization composed of people and we bring all of our strengths and imperfections to our work every day. We will not be perfect, but we will answer the call and bring our professional best to serve your child tomorrow and beyond.

33 responses to “Marpe, Scarice Address Capitol Attack

  1. Yes, Marpe says he is affronted by yesterday’s assault on our democracy, but, as a Republican, can he say he did not vote for the instigator of that assault?

    • Come on Daniel! Is not time to stop “categorizing” all Republicans as Trump supporters? How many Dems look up to that Buffon Blumenthal who endorsed a convicted felon in Joe Ganim?

      Not even a peep of outrage from any Dems or our local liberal media outlets God forbid Jim Marpe ever endorsed a convicted felon, the protest bridge would packed faster than an Amazon delivery.

      Jim Marpe is a class act who, like many Republicans work with our Democratic friends in Westport to help make Westport a better place.

      The dictator will soon leave Washington and not soon enough. The financial mess in Hartford created by our Democratic Legislatures will unfortunately continue to be here long after Trump is put in Jail.

      • Jimmy– I normally respect your stance, but, comparing the current occupant of the White House to Richard Blumenthal is absurd. You may not like Blumenthal, or what he stands for. He’s not my first choice for senator. But the President is a seditious, dangerous, lunatic (We seem to agree on this.)

        I like Jim Marpe too. (Full disclosure– I am a Westport “alumni” now living in a neighboring town). I just think the stand-up thing to do right now is to depart the Republican party that has enabled and even encouraged Trump’s actions. These actions are not comparable to anything Blumenthal — or even Joe Ganim ever did.

        • Mark- I agree. There NO COMPARISON…my point is Jim has been taking a beating here for being a “Republican” which I find asinine. If your going to call out Jim and try and put him in the same house as Trump…call out your own….There should’ve been outrage by the media and prominent Democrats throughout Westport and neighboring towns denouncing Blumenthal’s endorsement of a convicted felon.

          Again, I look forward to a “TRUMPLESS” America and a united country once again….Always happy to discus off line as well.

          • I agree with you that no Democrat should ever have supported Ganim’s election– but I do acknowledge the necessity of working with him in office.

            I don’t want to belabor the discussion further– I share your anticipation of the end of the Trump presidency next week. Be well.

          • Jimmy, Gannon is a felon, maybe Blumenthal should have thought better; HOWEVER, Gannon nor Blumenthal ever incited thousands to storm our Capitol and attempt to halt the democratic process…and, yes, every Republican who voted for that sedtious prick is culpable and, yes, those affronted by the actions of their party’s leader should leave it; not to do so, is to suppport the sedition because 39% of Republicans agree with what Trump did.

            • Dan- I think we all agree the man is beyond scum, and goes against all our values as Americans who love this country. Just watching President Elect Biden a few minutes ago, you just want him in control NOW.
              Wishing everyone a Healthy New Year. Look forward to more civil discussions and occasionally getting ripped here!! It’s nice to know we can all be friends!! J.

              • Well, Jim, before we get too warm and cuddly with each other, let us reflect on the fact that well over 100 house Republicans voted to continue with the recount nonsense…had the House been a majority of your political persuasion, and the persuasion of our First Selectman who had not the courage to even call out Republicans or Trump by name, the overthrow of the peoples’ choice for President would, more than likely, have been successful……friend.

          • Jimmy, what is the statement being made by the handful of Westporters continuing to display the Trump colors in their yards in the aftermath of the Trump-inspired seditious attack on the Capitol?

            And I have to say that the false equivalences that you keep mentioning seem like lame efforts of whataboutism that simply reinforce the point that party is more important to you than country.

            • Chris, I love this country as much as you. I think we all are done with being in this awful place. Wishing you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year. I am looking forward to President Biden, as he is a leader.

              • I completely appreciate that, but what statement do you think is being made by Westporters who continue to keep ostentatious Trump displays on their property after a Trump-inspired attack on the nation’s Capitol with the stated desire to overturn a free and fair election?

                • Chris and Dan wishing you both a great weekend! Always available to continue this chat anytime anywhere off line..Cheers J.

  2. Kudos to Jim Marpe and our outstanding new School Superintendant Tom Scarice! We are fortunate to have thoughtful leaders that understand the needs and reflect the values of this town.

  3. Sherry Jonas

    I no longer have school aged children but almost wish I did so they could have the benefit of learning under Tom Scarice. I am so impressed by every communication I read about that he sends to parents. What a massive improvement over our last two school superintendents. Thank you, Tom, for the wonderful and thoughtful way you have handled each of the far-too-many challenges that have arisen since you took this job.

  4. Ken Bernhard

    Very appropriate and well done. Ken Bernhard

  5. If I was a member of an organization that had whipped people in to a violent frenzy over conspiracy theories, and then those people violently took over a build– let alone the seat of Democracy– I’d be forced to resign. Add that to the fact that these people in the name of my organization and its leader were carry signs of hate and wearing t-shirts that included the cheery “Camp Aushvitz” meme…

    It amazes me that people in the Republican party don’t think in these terms.

  6. Let me clarify.. I am not saying Jim Marpe should resign his position– but he certainly should renounce membership in a political party that catalyzed this…

  7. Blood is on all Republican hands, it’s that simple. To pretend to be shocked now is just a joke when you’ve been complicit stoking the fire for years.

    • William Meinke

      Lol, what a ridiculously ignorant statement. Not all republicans are responsible for the actions of these morons… educate yourself

      • Plenty educated and also a former Republican. You either stand against it or you’re part of it IMO.

  8. David Webster

    Jim Marpe, interesting to hear that you are embarrassed for our country.
    Are you not embarrassed for your choice of political party?

    You weren’t born a republican. You choose to label yourself as one.
    And voted to put this man into office.

    Until you renounce your membership in the organization that enabled and empowered this shameful behavior, your words are empty.

  9. It is called the Casablanca defense — “I am shocked, shocked!!”

    Shocked about what? That Trump is a thug and a bandit who would stoop to anything? That it is in fact HIS followers who are about lawlessness and chaos?
    To most Westporters (75% at the November election) it was pretty clear this is what Trump has been threatening for years to do if he lost: he’d call on his Confederacy-flag waving goons to disrupt, riot and destroy.

    Where were these folks now purporting to be publicly decry Trump BEFORE the November election? Too little; too late; they’re already laughing at our governmental disorder in the Russian duma and around the world as they watch Confederate flag-bearing Trumpers break into Congress the center of legislative government.

    Trump was never the ‘law and order’ president as some deluded themselves into believing. How can anyone see all the investigations and the unindicted co-conspirator grand jury findings, and Republican Mueller’s findings of four indefensible criminal obstruction charges, and conclude Trump was all about following the law?

    Trump has always been, instead, the LAWLESSness AND DISORDER president. His presidency has been marked by non-stop chaos in Cabinet turnover and in his gov’t.

    Those who are now going full-Casablanca, “I’m shocked, shocked…” are proving themselves morally undiscerning about what Trump was saying and doing ALL ALONG, and where it was likely to lead.

    It headed right to the predictable.

  10. I began my career in education at 24 years of age in an all black junior high school. I learned so much, but the thing I came to understand is that too MANY of my white brethren referred to my black students as “the other”. They were not like us. Sometimes they were subtle in their comments and other times not so much. I predicted to my friends 52 years ago that a day like today would happen . There is a significant percentage of white America that is TERRIFIED and angry that Caucasian’s will be the minority population by 2045. They want a white, Christian country. It is their country and they are ready to fight to make that happen. For four years we have had a leader of our country who agrees with them. We are seeing only the beginning of this insurrection. I am so grateful that I have so many friends who despise the beliefs held by too many of my teacher colleagues 52 years ago. Our children probably believe as we do. America is an idea and an experiment. We are a work in progress. The skin color, religion, or sexual orientation of Americans makes no difference in the success of our grand experiment. It is only the belief in the idea of America that matters. Although I still believe that what we saw yesterday is not the end of such incidents, in a few decades brown, multi-religious or non-religious Americans will be the majority population and will lead our country to a new and much healthier place. I have hope!

  11. Isabelle Breen

    I don’t think those comments are fair. According to that logic, should all Catholics renounce their faith because a stunning number of priests were pedophiles? Abandoning the ideology of something that is originally sound is not helped when unsound and unprincipled persons decide to cloak themselves by that moniker. Bad people were Catholic, but not all Catholics are bad people. Well, the same is true for political parties or any other organized group that at some point in their history either produces bad actors or has them join them from the outside. REmember TRump was a Democrat at one time. He’s stained everybody.

  12. “It is only the belief in the idea of America that matters.”

    You are a former educator. What did you teach your students about the belief in the idea of America? That we are all equal and our experiment is for the people and by the people – all the people? We have been a diverse country from our beginning. We have faced and dealt with many insurrections and differences. However, we continue to ignore core issues of equality for all and respect for one another based upon political expediency. Stop this, and listen to one another, and together we will teach each other what our nation can be about – equality and opportunity for all.

  13. Dermot Meuchner

    Not a coup, that’s what we do to n other countries. The oligarchs like it just the way it is.

  14. Jim Marpe doesn’t even have the courage to mention either his party or the President who leads that party and who has refused to accept the election he lost, after spending four years saying that he might not step down if he lost the election, and who encouraged the violent mob of seditionists before they stormed the Capitol.

    Jimmy Izzo – enough of the pearl-clutching over your poor Republicans. Did you count all of the Republican members of Congress who wanted to overturn the result of a free and fair election?

    What I would ask any of these proud Republicans is what is so important that they would debase themselves by continuing to affiliate themselves with the GOP despite these seditious schemes and four years of evil policies by the Trump administration?

    Let’s see… 350,000 dead from a COVID crisis Trump ignored. Policies of child separation at the border that have resulted in children who still not with their families. Rampant corruption. A retreat from our international allies.

    All of these terrible policies followed by sedition. Gee, those little tax breaks must have really been really important to these loyal Republicans.

    • Thanks, Chris, for that comment. I simply did not have the energy to respond to the Izzo ignorance, and am grateful that you did it for me.

  15. Werner Liepolt

    Given Trump’s reported delight at the events, given the blatant racial inequality in the failure to protect our law makers and capitol, given that the basis of the insurrection is the lie that Republicans have failed to repudiate it does seem as if the local response could be—shall we say—more full throated and expressive of what we in Westport feel and will do about it.

    • Werner Liepolt

      Westport’s Selectmen’s response to the Trump incited insurrection has had little effect in the Republican Party which today in the Republican National Convention on Amelia Island embraced Trump as an “absolutely positive “ force in the party.

  16. Jimmy was more than willing to comment before. I’m not sure why he is afraid to answer a simple question, now.

    Call me crazy, but after a seditious attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters, people continuing to fly Trump flags would *seem* to be signaling their support for that sedition.

    Agree or disagree?

    (I welcome anyone’s take on the matter – not only Jimmy’s – which is why I dropped the comment down here.)

    It is clear that the Senate will not address another impeachment, with Mitch saying that they will not hold hearings unless every Senator agrees (we can name those who will not). Republican members of the Cabinet resigned rather than participating in a vote on removal. The RNC is meeting in Florida, and it’s leadership has praised Trump.

    In the here and now, Republicanism is Trumpism and Trumpism is Sedition.

    • Yes, Chris, a Republican is, today, a “Trumper” for sure…just yesterday, the Republicans swore their allegiance to Trump going forward, as anyone who cares to can read in any national newspaper on the stands this morning.