With love and hope,
Carey Martell Lies About and Threatens Newberg School Employees and Is Publicly Thanked by Board Chair Dave Brown
by Elaine Koskela
I am writing this as a private citizen to share my perspective and thoughts around the Newberg School Board. These are my personal thoughts, and not as a representative of the Newberg School District.
Carey Martell, a former Newberg resident and vocal supporter of Newberg School Board members Trevor DeHart, Renee Powell, Dave Brown, and Brian Shannon, is a self-described journalist and blogger on a mission to take down anyone supporting the recall of Brown and Shannon. He has been using social media to spread conspiracy theories for months, with claims so ludicrous many have chosen to ignore him.
On the Save Our Schools Newberg Facebook page—the page that supports DeHart, Powell, Brown, and Brian Shannon and opposes the recall—Martell has staged a disturbing verbal attack on Newberg’s residents, including me, a Success Coach for Catalyst High School.
In Martell’s attack on me, he claims that “if Joe Morelock had been a good superintendent you….would be fired and no longer working for the school district..” He says I am “poisoning our kids” with my “nonsense.” He tells me, “You deserve to be fired..,” and “you know your time is limited.” These are hurtful and harmful threats and false accusations.
Martell made a similiar threat to my co-worker Josh Reid on a community Facebook page Martell moderates. Josh was not at all involved in the conversation, yet Martell attacked him with another hurtful, harmful threat and false accusation. Josh Reid is an incredibly talented Catalyst school counselor. Martell said “It’s just a matter of time until a new superintendent is chosen and you get fired Reid. Morelock wouldn’t terminate you for the FERPA violation. I bet the next one will.”
On his blog, The Yamhill Advocate, Martell has devoted full articles to attacking Chehalem Valley Middle School counselor Maddie Kozloff and principal Casey Petrie. Staff and family of staff from all our schools as well as the District Office staff have also been maliciously attacked. The school board is supposed to support our staff. What do they think about these wide-spread attacks on Newberg School District staff?
Unfortunately, these are just drops in the ocean of vile lies and attacks Carey Martell has made to many community members. The number of people he has intimidated, silenced, and hurt is astounding.
Martell is an activist in “Free Oregon.” At an online “Free Oregon” rally, Martell promoted himself and stated two lies about the NEEd Facebook group at this gathering (click here: Martell’s comments begin at timestamp 18:39), “There is a movement nationwide called Indivisible… They encourage, you know, what I regard to be paper terrorism sort of tactics where they just constantly call senators and representatives and even private companies overwhelming their phones and email boxes with templates constantly every day in this sort of very aggressive, very militant uh harassment campaign is basically what they like to do. And they’ve done some of this in Newberg, as well, as I’m sure Dave Brown will be able to tell you ’cause I’ve seen the public records requests of his inbox and they’ve definitely done that to him. So uh this Indivisible movement, they’ve made a chapter here in Yamhill County… the Newberg chapter of them is Newberg Equity in Education. They’ve got about 600 people, um most, almost the entire teacher’s union is part of it and their specific agenda with the Newberg group was to get Critical Race Theory into the school system curriculum.”
First, after smearing a group called “Indivisible” (which appears to be a progressive get-out-the-vote group), he claimed Newberg Equity in Education (NEEd) is a chapter of them. NEEd is now and has always been solely a local Facebook group with no ties to any other organization.
In his second lie, Martell claims NEEd exists to put Critical Race Theory in the curriculum. Putting CRT in the Newberg Public Schools curriculum has never been discussed in the NEEd group as a goal.
“Almost the entire teacher’s union is part of [NEEd]” is another lie. Teachers in the union–along with any individual who supports equity and anti-racism in Newberg Public Schools–are certainly allowed be part of the group, but most or almost all the members of the teachers’ union are not part of NEEd. NEEd is grateful for all Newberg school district employees who have joined the local effort because discussing equity in education is essential when we hold a high value of care for all students.
In several school board meetings, Brown has bitterly complained about attacks and lies and said they need to stop. That could sound like he’s ready to stand up to Martell. But does he condemn Martell’s actions against Newberg Public Schools’ employees? He doesn’t. Let’s listen to Chair Brown’s own words as he was campaigning at the same “Free Oregon” event that featured Carey Martell (click here: Brown’s comments begin at timestamp 22:30). “Before I go any farther, I’d like to thank Carey. I haven’t got to do that publicly yet. He has really put a lot of work into what he’s done and, Carey, thank you. You know, I haven’t got a chance in this kind of setting so it’s just amazing that somebody would put this much effort out.”
The truth is, Chair Brown has never checked in with the numerous Newberg staff who have been attacked by Carey Martell. The truth is, Brown is supportive of Martell’s work as shown by his words at this online “Free Oregon” event.
Several long-time employees with the district, including myself, are being threatened about employment on Facebook by Carey Martell in his self-appointed role as investigative journalist on behalf of the board majority. Without a response from Brown or other School Board members denouncing Martell directly for his malicious comments and threats to Newberg staff, and in light of Chair Brown’s public gratitude toward Martell, we can only assume the board majority stands behind his words.
Brown’s public embrace of Martell’s support is troubling, as are Martell’s more personal attacks on Newberg teachers, counselors, and administrators. It’s time to tell the truth about Carey Martell and the dangerous influence he has over members of our district’s Board of Directors. It’s time for new leadership.
7 responses to “Carey Martell Lies About and Threatens Newberg School Employees and Is Publicly Thanked by Board Chair Dave Brown”
I strongly support Catalyst and other positive trends I have observed since I returned to Newberg to retire. I base my views on first hand experience with Catalyst students and staff. I also took the time to talk to teachers and other students. I taught in Newberg for 25 years and both my sons are Newberg graduates.
Thank you Elaine.. your words are eloquent and true. I pray we can repair the damage that has been done.
Dear Beth: a friend shared your blog with me today and I just wanted to say how great it is to see people speaking up and calling the alt-right four on the school board (and the thugs who support them) to account. I want to believe that most people who support them do so in good faith, but I also hope that the more the true motivations of the board are called out, the more the unsavory behavior they and their more vocal supporters display, the more likely people now backing them will open their eyes and realize that touting “America and ‘freedom’” can mask intentions out of keeping with what we value as a nation.
Thank you for this ! I now know how I’ll vote !
I admire both of you for your healthy perspectives, your love for kids, your maturity, your ability to communicate, and your tireless work in educating the community on these matters. May your hearts be full of the love so many have for you, your minds full of clarity and wisdom as you go forward, and your spirits filled with peace as you continue to speak the truth.
Thank you for giving Elaine this platform!
Thank you. Keep speaking the truth and fighting the good fight.
Thank you Beth for sharing Elaine’s writing. I know Elaine and she is a salt-of-the-earth person who is passionate about equity for our students and works tirelessly to create safe spaces for Newberg students. She is respected by other school staff, students, and families.