Monday, August 27, 2012

Penland Community Silence

I totally agree with all that you've said. I've been following along with this issue and the fact that so few people have come to support you on this has really been on my mind . I'd like to go on the record as saying Penland School lost a great part of their staff and community the day they signed off on John Britt. I don't think anybody who worked alongside you or had you as an instructor would disagree with me. Does anybody reading this have recollection of a clay coordinator at Penland (or anywhere else) as knowledgeable and fun to be around as Britt? I truly doubt it. I have a sense, however, that the clay coordinator position, like most other positions at the school, was intended by the administration only as a slot for young guns wanting to be affiliated with Penland and all too willing to put up with a year or two of abuse before moving on to other things. Unfortunately, your serious, career minded approach to the position put you at odds with their diminutive and perhaps illegal treatment of employees and this kind of conflict was probably inevitable. I think it's a sad statement that so few people in the "Penland Community" have publicly offered you the empathy you deserve for standing up to the unjust employment practices at the school. Surely, this has more to do with their own insecurities and compelling need to remain connected with the school than with any desire to shun you. A quick survey of behavior in cult organizations offers more parallels here than I care to ponder. Best of luck, John.

Nick Friedman
The Duckpond Pottery
Brevard, North Carolina
Penland School Blacklistee

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