The Bromfield School Council recognizes that there has been controversy over Bromfield's decision to forgo participation in this year's Massachusetts State Theater Festival and explore new theatrical offerings at the school.

The strong feelings expressed by some students, parents and alumni about the school's decision come from past positive experiences at the festival and a longtime tradition of participation.

As members of the Council, we can assure the community that all voices are being heard and will be taken seriously in order to balance competing interests and opportunities.

However, the council unanimously feels that the personal attacks in the press and on social media have been disrespectful and hurtful and do not contribute to the discussion.

Our core values, to which we hold our students and ourselves accountable, are to show respect for our differences and for one another. We can disagree, even strongly, but name-calling, bullying and finger-pointing have no place in the discussion.

We hope everyone will spend time reflecting on what has transpired these past few weeks in the press, emails and social media and agree that talking directly to each other in an open, candid and thoughtful way will do more to create a better understanding and outcome to serve, and set an example for, our students.

Bromfield School Council