HomeOpinionAshley Fogg: Be Leery, Friends

Ashley Fogg: Be Leery, Friends

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Thank you to all who supported my campaign. I am grateful for the support of so many.

It appears that candidates that are not endorsed by Democrats are unable to win in this town. Rather than focusing on their own candidates, the HDTC launched attack after attack. Darlene Hayes, chair of the HDTC, posted all over social media that I should leave the community and move. She yelled at people in public who were in support of me. She aligned me with Trump. She notified community members publicly that I was not at Town Meeting and not engaging in town policies even though I was on a planned vacation with my family. Darlene Hayes has been in constant communication with Town Clerk Connor Degan about my campaign. Conversations that I held in confidence with Connor were shared with Darlene. She then used it to attack me and my commitment to my campaign. (Mr. Degan has admitted to me that he had shared this information with her). Not only is this extremely unprofessional, it shows clearly that even the Town Clerk in his professional role is unable to maintain his non-partisanship and that his true loyalty lies with his party.

HTA President Becky Abate is out of control. She is extremely polarizing and confrontational. She fights with Hopkinton parents openly on various forums both privately and publicly. She bullies and spreads misinformation. She believes as the Union President she can get away with this behavior. The Hopkinton schools let her operate with impunity. In any other job she would have been fired long ago for insubordination, conduct unbecoming, defamation and slander. I have spoken with dozens of parents and students who have been personally victimized and attacked by this woman. She openly attacks the superintendent, school committee members, and the Select Board. Let’s also not forget that two school committee members resigned last year because of Abate’s letter that later proved to be false. Why does Hopkinton public schools continue to employ her?

A FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) violation also came out of the Elmwood school. This violation occurred when private information about my child’s education was released and hit the rumor mill. This is unconscionable. Any communication that I have about my child’s education should be kept private. The leak of this information resulted in rumors, gossip, false information and attacks. Should a parent not be able to speak to teachers and principals and feel their conversations are kept in confidence? I will be taking steps to file a complaint with Department of Education as I strongly believe no parent should ever be made to go through this in the district.

I ran for school committee because sitting school committee chair Nancy Cavanaugh and school committee member Holly Morand both sought me out and asked me to consider running. Nancy even offered to help me get signatures for my nomination papers and Holly donated to my campaign. I had no intention of running but I was assured by both of these members that I would be supported and they were concerned about the two candidates the HDTC had propped up, as neither had any involvement with the schools prior to their run. Nancy stated she believed I could “easily beat both.” Holly stated she would do “whatever she could to help me.” As soon as I pulled papers, and put in my nomination both of them told me they did not want to “be involved.” Nancy even went as far to message me again and ask me to not use her name publicly. Once the attacks started that I was anti LGBTQ they both abandoned me completely. Neither one came out and publicly said that people should stop the attacks or to speak on my character. Not a single attack (that came without any evidence) was remotely true. Both of them are members of the HDTC (Holly has since resigned) and received pressure to not support my campaign. Both of them will also say they supported me until the LBGTQ attacks started and they then changed their mind. This is absolutely ludicrous. None of those accusation were true nor was there any evidence to back it up. If I was such a bigot, racist, and homophobe why weren’t these things brought up last year when I ran? And where is the evidence? Both of these school committee members led me on and let me down. I have these conversations in writing.

And furthermore, I have many families who identify as LGBTQ that had my yard signs proudly in their yard. They were shocked this garbage was happening.

I had to speak with the police and the school administration to ensure the safety of my kids.

The School Committee is a VOLUNTEER role. No one is this town should ever experience what I have endured to try to serve this town.

I spent countless hours of my time, money and energy hoping to serve our kids and our schools. I am a real person, a mother of 3 young kids, and a lifelong resident of Hopkinton.

While I stood holding signs all day yesterday from 6:45am- 8pm with friends, family and my children, I was screamed at and called a book banner, a racist, a fascist, a homophobe and all sorts of obscenities. People screamed at my young kids. This is the reality of what I experienced just to wave and smile at people as they came to vote.

I know only a small percentage of the town may pay attention to town elections. But for those paying attention, our town is going in a VERY wrong direction. And a person who has lived here her entire life has been made to feel unwelcome for only trying to serve this community.

Be leery, friends.

Ashley Fogg was a candidate for school committee in 2023

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  1. Nobody cares, the election is over. For a town this small to have such a negative person allowed to viciously attack others who do not share her beliefs is insane. The diatribe above, full of sour grapes, disparagement, and false accusations, is exactly why you failed, Ashley. Part of being a politician is representing everyone, not just your family and a chosen few. Enough with your pity parties, woah is you, nobody likes me garbage. Respect is earned, not given. Once lost, it is almost impossible to regain. Learn this.

    You lost me when I read your election piece and realized a person running for the School Committee cannot even write well. That alone dissuaded me from even considering you. From afar, I simply want to know that our town government works well together on behalf of the town. Ms. Fogg, you cannot play well in the sandbox, so keep out of it. Nobody likes sand thrown in their faces by a bully – Ms. Fogg.

    You have no real credentials, speak in circles that go nowhere, answer nothing, and do not understand that you are now a public figure, by your choosing. If you cannot take the heat, why did you enter the kitchen?

  2. This is all true (ETA – what you wrote about me), I did think you were a good candidate and did encourage you to run. I was open about this to anyone who asked me, including the HDTC. I sent you the letter I wrote.

    I only take exception with the part of me abandoning you. I asked to not be a part of the election before everything blew up because of some very intense family issues, which I shared in detail with you. I also asked you directly about the things I’d heard and told you I did not have enough information to know how to proceed. I tried to help you navigate the situation as I very deeply know how it feels to be attacked in public spaces. I tried to help you understand why people did not take your statements as support of LGBTQ folks.

    You told me you valued my openness and friendship.

    I have not spoken about the election publicly, nor have I endorsed anyone.

    I am sorry about how everything has played out and I am sorry about how hurt you feel. I did not conspire to hurt you and I shared with you my own concerns about about how things happen here.

    I do not regret the decisions I made as I did the best with what I had in front of me, I only regret that people were hurt again in a process that should not be as contentious and fraught as it repeatedly turns out to be.

    • Holly, everyone who knows you can speak to your upstanding character. You should be proud of the respectful, accepting, gracious person that you are and not let this even be a blip in your day.

    • (First on the campaign page)
      Holly Morand From my vantage point, I found it to be an amazing turning point post-covid for you and Ashley to come together in an effort to take care of our schools. I know you do not know Ashley the way the people near her do, but if you did all of this would seem absurd. There can be sincere and honest disagreement about her campaign strategy – but what she immediately saw (and I did not) was that everything she said would be misconstrued. That in fact there was no answer that would satisfy the opposition. As an aside, I never heard a word about the personal things happening in your life – she really went out of her way to protect others even as the most confidential conversations in her life were exposed and used to harm her campaign. Yesterday, we took a lot of abuse standing along the driveway yesterday – from the benign fist shake to being called fascists. The accusations alone were enough to convince so many people that there was a book burner in our midst. I doubt very much that any of this came from your circle and it is a tall order to ask folks to step up in such a turbulent situation – but the only way any of this gets repaired is if more people get involved and ask our neighbors to please be kind. In any event, I hope there is a way forward. Thank you for this post.

  3. Ashley Fogg, you are meanest of all mean people and the bulliest of all. I was one of the cars driving into the middle school to vote yesterday around 2 pm and just happened to see and hear you screaming at two of the people you mention over and over in your letter. High school at its best! (One of the people, you can’t even spell his last name correctly) I wasn’t the only one, there were cars behind me. You forgot to mention that in your letter! Why couldn’t you just write a decent letter thanking all of the 600 people who supported you and leave it at that. I think you just love the drama you’re causing, but in any case, the Hopkinton people voted for the two most qualified candidates! Congratulations to Susan and Adam. You both ran a nice campaign and deserve to have a seat in the School Committee.

  4. Unfortunate how this all played out for Ashley. I am certainly concerned with the actions of the town clerk if true. He can be spotted at Cornell’s where I suspect some of these politics are hatched. I hope he can clear the air on this one!

  5. You need to just move on. These “open letters” are just immature at this point. No it didn’t go your way and yes there likely were politics involved where there shouldn’t have been (aren’t there always?) but instead of taking the high road and acting like a leader you just joined the drama and at this point are creating more of it all on your own. It’s immature, irresponsible, does not serve our kids and is not a good look for our town. Holding people accountable is one thing, but dragging people through the mud simply for questioning you is different and you should have expected some challenges even in a “volunteer” position. Hope you can move on and take some time to reflect and grow. I feel bad you felt attacked as nobody should, but attacking back doesn’t separate yourself from it.

  6. Dear Ashley,
    Last year you ran on anti-masking and belittling your opponent’s health. The voters said no.This year, no clue what you ran on since you don’t answer questions.The voters again said no.
    Shame on you Ashley.
    Do Better.

    • You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Her candidacy statement never mentioned masking last year. Ashley participated in hour long debates and public forums answering questions. This is the most uninformed comment I have ever seen.

      • Did you watch Ashley’s public comments at school committee meetings in 2022?
        My child has a rare disease, to diminish her kids inconvenience during a global epidemic was insulting to families with at risk children. Insulting to teachers who returned to in person learning who have families. The daily Covid alerts for our schools of cases among teachers and students was overwhelming. Actions speak louder than words. Her actions were evident against masking, masked as a concerned parent then took jabs at her opponent’s high-risk health needs. Do Better.

  7. Ashley … you were so brave to put yourself out there again. I have incredible respect for your commitment to our schools and to the children of this community. And what I will remember about this race was how respectful and kind the candidates in the election were to each other. You can hold your head high. Thank you for representing those of us who have been worrying about special education, the budget, the new school build, mental health, curriculum for the G&T and who have been endlessly fretting about the culture wars being brought to this school system. You did your best and you have 600 people who were personally and passionately invested in you representing us on school committee. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  8. What’s outlined in this letter in incredibly disturbing. Election aside – I get it, it’s over – is everyone seriously ok with what has been alleged here?

    You’re all ok with the Town Clerk sharing confidential information with the HDTC; that the Superintendent and School
    committee look the over way regarding the abhorrent behavior of the HTA President? That the schools are disseminating confidential student and parent info?

    There’s a current school committee member who commented the following: “…my own concerns about about how things happen here.” She gets it!

    Two former school committee members were hung out to dry over text messages yet cleared following an investigation. But this? How unethical and corrupt can people in this town possibly get before enough is enough?

  9. Hopkinton Comes Together

    Ashley Fogg lost. Hopkinton voters decided that Ashley Fogg was not one of the candidates that Hopkinton voters wanted it in Hopkinton. Hopkinton came together with that voice at the ballot box.

    There wasn’t backroom dealing to ‘supress’ voices. Individual voters expressed individual opinions about individual candidates based on interactions with individuals.

    Hopkinton Comes Together

    An election happened. Ashley Fogg was not chosen by the democratic process of single-member plurality. The current system of democratically electing town officials worked as designed.

    Hopkinton must come together to oppose attempts to abuse and question results of fair and free elections.

  10. I feel proud to be the one to yell ‘F*ck Fascists!’ at your team waving signs. I enjoyed the cheering I heard as I drove to SPECIFICALLY vote against you. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

    Fascism must be eradicated in all forms. Thank you for elevating my message and exposing the fascists hiding in plain sight. We don’t forgive and forget.

    • You must be so proud of yourself and your lack of both emotional AND cerebral intelligence. You’re proud of yourself for this; for yelling obscenities at children!? You yelled this on school property with kids within earshot!? It’s called mental illness, rather than standing up for your beliefs. You chose hatred over class and grace. IN FRONT OF CHILDREN. How embarrassing for you, seriously.

      • I don’t think I am the lack of intelligence in this discussion. I’d give that to the author of this piece.

        If you think speaking truth by yelling “F*ck Fascists!” is a bad thing, you must HATE the fact that children are being slaughtered on a regular basis in the country at school. You must be doing EVERYTHING you can to remove guns from the streets. You must be screaming that it’s mental illness that is preventing the MAGAts and NRA propagandists from doing their job and removing said tools from society. You must be the one who is protecting children rather than property. I’ll learn from your example.

        Calling out fascists is a duty for all those who value liberty. An obscenity hurled at a fascist is far less dangerous than other things that should be hurled in their direction.

        Prove me wrong.

        • “Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology and movement, characterized by a dictatorial leader, centralized autocracy, militarism, forcible suppression of opposition, belief in a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good of the nation and race, and strong regimentation of society and the economy.” – wikipedia

          Would you honestly say, in person (not behind a keyboard), that Ashley Fogg is a Fascist? Is there any evidence that she supports a “far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology”? Come on. We’re talking school committee here, not nation building.

          • Yes. I have, and I would again. Anyone who isn’t explicitly against fascism is encouraging fascism.

            I’d like Ashley Fogg to come out and oppose the fascist ideology that is being promoted by her supporters. Come out and directly oppose ‘Don’t Say Gay’ and the erasure of LGBTQ+ families in education. Directly support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom and beyond. Directly support that healthcare is a human right. Directly support self-determination in all healthcare decisions. Directly support using knowledge of systemic forces to help inform how we educate those in schools.

            If Ashley Fogg came out and explicitly condemned the practices they refuse to discuss, I’d graciously and sincerely apologize. I would admit I was wrong and make amends. I would be in the wrong.

            As of now, I haven’t seen anything that shows that Ashley Fogg does not oppose fascist policies, thereby making her a fascist herself.

          • I am not suggesting anything specific be thrown in the direction of Ashley Fogg. If you read what I wrote: “obscenity hurled at a fascist is far less dangerous than other things that should be hurled in their direction.”

            Dangerous items get hurled on occasion. In the past, there have been rocks, eggs, small pebbles, toilet paper, water bottles… I could go on about items that are possible to be thrown using a human arm. And, if a fascist gets in the way, the object finds itself with a bad day.

            You ignore the main point of supporting the slaughter of children. It’s clear that you are okay with that.

            It’s a sad day when a parent is willing to sacrifice their child to support fascism.

    • Well you aren’t that proud as you are anonymous, which is understandable. No one would support your behavior.

      • I think most of humanity would agree that fascists should be eradicated. I mean, we had a war that ended in ’45 against fascists.

        Unfortunately, the cockroaches have rose again and need to be eradicated once more. The difference is that we are being occupied by those who sympathize with the authoratarian enablers.

        Action against a group that promotes domestic terrorism attacks and smears people just for having a different opinion resorts to needing to protect yourself by wearing a mask and live to continue the fight.

        It’s good to know that you, Kristin Dangelo, support fascism. I’ll make sure to make a note.

    • Enough is Enough, I am confused. I watched both the candidates and the debate. At what point did Ashley support gun violence or come off as a fascist? Are you making assumptions of someone you don’t even know? Do you think MAGA’s are truly the reason behind school shootings? If that is the case, then why hasn’t any legislation been passed while Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate with a sitting Democratic President? Are you aware of the slaughter that is happening daily in our cities across the country? Do you think that any law would keep illegal guns off the streets? Before you pass judgement on me, I will tell you I am a registered independent. That does not make me a fascist, racist, homophobe or whatever else that you think I should identify as. There is no simple answer to preventing school shootings. I agree we need better gun laws that include mental health exams, a real time national database, and stricter laws for locking guns when not carried by the licensed owner. More importantly I think we need to prioritize the mental health crisis especially in today’s youth. Kids are not often getting the support they need at home or at school. Bullying incidents are on the rise and the victim continues to suffer. Parent to parent bullying is not helping. Schools hands are tied as MA law now no longer allows for suspension for causing physcal harm to another student and parents are quick to support their child’s bad behavior and threaten to sue ( See Doe vs. Hopkinton Schools 20-1950).
      Yes, I voted for Ashley, as I believed she would challenge the current SC when needed and push to a compromise that all parties could accept. So does this make me a F_ Fascist too?

  11. We have 4k+ students depending on the SC to partner with them, rather than the HTA. To the current SC, please be strong and advocate for the kids, rather than placate the HTA leadership. Please remember what your role on the SC is and be brave. Enough is enough.

    Ashley, run a better campaign with clear massaging if you choose to run again for anything. I voted for you despite this.

    DTC candidates, you had this win in the bag but chose to participate in the fear mongering and negativity. Nothing to be too proud of here.

  12. “Be leery, friends, because a majority of people didn’t agree with my views, and sour grapes and what not. But it’s everybody else’s fault.”

  13. It was interesting that the same people that were saying “oh it’s just politics, you need thicker skin, this isn’t bullying, we are just concerned and asking questions” were the same people that were denying that the anti-lgbtq book banning malarkey was a smear campaign- which is truly “just politics”. These people appear to be living their lives looking for a reason to be nasty and find joy in it. It’s very disappointing. The truth is, your biggest supporters have gay kids of their own and have lost loved ones to suicide. You have a lot of community members from multiple stakeholder groups that witnessed what happened and are not ok with it. You have a lot of support and I’m proud of you.

  14. Philippians 2:14 ESV
    Do all things without grumbling or disputing

    This opinion article was written by a Bible study leader, hypocrisy.

    • Yes because that is the main message of the Bible. How about love your neighbor?

      Ashley isn’t complaining, she’s shedding light on very real, horribly broken things that happened to her and her family.

      • Love your neighbor…

        and make sure that they follow your rules and force their religion upon everyone. Use violence, for they will be saved, even if it kills them.

        If you actually believed in your precious book of stories, you’d off your religion from public life and LEAVE EVERYONE ALONE. You wouldn’t be opposing my right to choose whom I love. You wouldn’t oppose human healthcare. You wouldn’t oppose those who want to improve life by joining this nation. You wouldn’t oppose the brutal actions of the paramilitary forces which roam the street and exact vengeance on those who commit ‘crimes’. You wouldn’t oppose punitive incarceration over sensible rehabilitation.

        Thank you, Jane N., for supporting Christian Nationalism.

        • Enough is Enough, I have so many issues with the posts you sent out. Can you see the hypocrisy in your words? You preach to be accepting of people (clearly not all) , but can not seem to respect that some people have different ideology or beliefs. You have repeatedly in your post spewed stereotyped and made assumptions of people because they go against your extreme ideology. You’ve clearly showed your intolerance toward those that practice a religion. I ask you, have you ever sat down with someone, with an open mind, a listening ear, and ask them why they support or believe in certain things? You might just walk away enlightened. Our personal experiences shape who we are. You don’t have to agree with people’s opposing views nor should you expect them to submit to your ideology either. I ask that you please stop spreading the hate and stop contributing to the divisiveness in this town and country.

  15. Maybe something like this would have been better.

    Thank you to ALL Hopkinton residents for your thoughtful consideration during this election. Although the results were not what I had hoped for, I want to congratulate my opponents on their victories and wish them success in their efforts to support our beloved town.

    • Right on, Kevin! That’s what I’ve been trying to get across to her all along! In fact, I have not seen anything written where she congratulated her two opponents. She may have it somewhere, but I haven’t seen it. Actually, after the election results were read, Adam and Susan were the ones who went over to speak to her. It’s not the way it usually goes after a candidate loses, but they did a nice thing. Congratulations to Susan and Adam, you are going to be a great asset to the School Committee!

  16. I agree with most commenters that the style could be better.

    But on the substance of the matter, I think Ashley is probably correct. I’m married to a Hop Mom so hear about some of the stuff that happens on RHOH and Hop Uncommon. It’s crazy. Cancel Culture is alive and well in some parts of this town. There are bullies; we are seeing them in these comments and the comments on her other article.

    If there was a privacy violation at Elmwood that is terrible and should be handled. And there was a smear campaign against Ashley; it’s common knowledge for anyone half paying attention.

    I’m left shaking my head and wondering why anyone in their right mind would want to volunteer for this job, or any committee or board in this town. Where are the thank you’s? It’s just a lot of BS from chippy people who don’t have the courage or brain power to run themselves.

  17. HopNews, I like having another news source in this town as I think more reporting will lead to more transparency and transparency will lead to better governance. That said, I don’t think the Reply Section is actually improving discourse or transparency. I really think its abuse by some Users is causing more harm than any good.

    I say shut the Replies down and let people provide Op/Eds if they have something of importance to say to the Community. Don’t let your website turn into just another forum for anonymous trolling and petty online name calling. We already have Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor to serve that crowd.

  18. I think this campaign process has been a cluster f* and it makes me sad to see how hurt so many people have been. Hurt people hurt people. This might take the prize though. Talk about smear campaign? Dragging our town clerk— who is one of the most ethical people I know— through this is unconscionable. He is subject to public records requests— if you tried to pull out of the race, of course that would be subject to public records request. When you allege a ferpa violation, I hear you saying you believe the things people were concerned about regarding your views are true. Also, if you stuck to ranting about one person, it might feel like less of sour grapes. I wish you positive energy moving forward and hope you are able to let go of this election and move forward positively with your life. And I hope that you don’t keep trying to figuratively burn the community down with your disappointment over the election. It can’t be good for your well being and it certainly isn’t best for the community.

  19. What is wrong with people? Ashley isn’t a sore loser. Did you read what she wrote? She brought to the public’s attention the very real and corrupt things happening in our town. The commenters telling her to be quiet are the problem.

    No one is concerned our town clerk is colluding with the HDTC? This makes it impossible for any candidate not in that party to have a fair campaign in this town.

    A Hopkinton school violated federal law and share private communication about a child’s education.

    That residents of our town yelled obscenities at young children on numerous occasions.

    That a Hopkinton educator is creating chaos in our town and the school administration is continuing her employment.

    She felt so unsafe she had to call the police.

    You guys read that right?

    This string of comments just proves her point that there are so many people adding to the problem in town.

  20. Congratulations to Adam Munroe and Susan Stephenson. Thank you for running for school committee and wish you both success.
    My family voted for you both.

  21. I have lived in this town for over 40 years and had children in the school system many years ago during budget cuts, school choice etc and never would believe the hatred that is shown by grown ass adults with most likely children in the school system. Talk about out of control bullying. This is really something special to read. I hope you all act like adults around your children because this is disgusting

  22. You can tell in this thread Ashley’s responses in disguise by the terrible grammar and use of semi colons 🤣
    What a disgraceful way to lose an election. You are not teaching your children to fight for themselves to be heard, you’re teaching them to be sore losers and that everyone should get a trophy 🤦🏻‍♀️

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