I will be taking up the advocacy of my best friend, Kristine Kelpinski-Ehm, who helped me survive the veteran crisis of readjustment and reintegration during a time in my life when I needed a friend.
She is one of the few who came to my rescue when I was battling a lapse in VA opioid painkiller prescription and dealing with end-of-life concerns. She is being outcasted by self-identifying high school reunion leadership for asking they present their treasury and minute-taking reports.
The group organized a tax-exempt entity called “Appleton West Class of ’93 Inc.” without the consent of classmates.
Kelpinski-Ehm shared her concerns after uncovering legal issues with one of the business owners claiming he was in charge of our reunion planning. Self-identified planner, Neil Wynveen, has tax warrants pending.
Kelpinski-Ehm sought transparency and received retaliation.
As a veteran, I stepped up as her guardian at Outpost 422 where veterans, who are being bullied for seeking help from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, come to check in and recieve a battle buddy. I am her battle buddy enduring the melee of the attacks perpetrated on the “Appleton West Class of ’93 Reunion page” we are banned from.
We are classmates speaking up and speaking out about her ordeal.
The upcoming appearance before the Appleton Area School District Board tells her story and what I witnessed with her attacker’s public humiliation for calling him out regarding his pending tax warrants as a reunion organizer.
The following rough draft provides the full-length detail of what I truly want to say but only have three minutes. Currently, Appleton public schools’ administrators have trouble with moderating online reunion behavior.
The task is too tough to tame. I am taking the business model of Outpost 422 from the time when I was attacked by Curtis Lemke at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, like what I am witnessing happening with my best friend.
Letter to the Appleton Public School Board
Good evening respected leaders of the Appleton Area School District-
My name is Bradley Burt. I am a 10th Mountain Division veteran who has been speaking up and speaking out about digital hostility and Machiavellianism through my honors research and am pursuing my graduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
I stand before as one of your reformed troublemakers who found value in making life changes starting with going back to school later in life and achieving high honors. My whole world changed the day I graduated as a summa cum laude journalism major and corporate communication minor.
That day reflects the pursuit and reward for Overcoming Impossibility. I crossed through the threshold into a new level of success and became an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater class of ’23.
This year, in celebration, I wanted to provide a timestamp feature profile regarding where we are as a class as an alumnus of Appleton West Class of’93. The profile reflected Heide Hall and Madison College as a convergent media portfolio piece for my grad school application.
The journey led to needing to contact Appleton Schools Superintendent Greg Hartjes, who graciously added me to the agenda and value our time. Thank you.
I have been in contact with the local press with press releases about the subject of reunion trolling and hiding of treasury reports by our self-appointed reunion committee, who was confronted by a classmate on our reunion page and now she and I have been outcasted for speaking up about their hate and bias towards her.
I am appearing before you today with concerning news.
Our class, Appleton West Class of ’93, has a reunion Facebook page that organized without the permission of the school or the membership and have uncovered the group has registered a tax-deferred entity titled “Appleton West Class of ’93 Inc.” organized and filed by classmate and past admin Cori Collins Marinan, controlled by page founder Jennifer Kohl, naming Jenna Kadlec as the president who recently stepped down.
When approached by classmate Kristine Kelpinski-Ehm, she was called out for not taking her medication, who was berated by classmates Carey Varga-Halverson, Charity Recla, and page founder Jennifer Kohl.
Kelpinski-Ehm was banned, and all of our comments were removed, which included the naming of Chad Van Daalwyk as our new reunion president and me as the secretary who was bringing our reunions into Robert’s Rules of Order for addressing treasury reports and minutes, which have not been brought before members.
I briefly discussed the concerns of our classmate with classmate Chad Van Daalwyk, noted in a phone call he was hanging onto the money from the past reunion. We began collaborating with building a newsletter that would provide minutes and treasury reports.
We were moving forward and bringing hope to our class. That was, until Wynveen’s named president, Jenna Kadlec, stepped down and handed her admin role over to him. Shortly after, my comments and polls as the newly named secretary were deleted and I was banned.
Rather than remove Wynveen, Kadlec stepped down and handed her admin role over to both him and Van Daalwyk, who are self-identifying as our current reunion leadership, after referring to myself and Kelpinski-Ehm, and I quote, as “Douchebag Debbie Downer Drama Starters.”
Classmates who attended the reunion are now referring to us as “drama” for our attempts to build an inclusive reunion welcome to all and remove Wynveen.
As of now, both Kelpinski-Ehm and I are speaking up and speaking out while the group profiles us in front of our peers with diatribes, passive aggressive cryptic groupspeak and has violated hate/bias policies the University of Wisconsin uses to regulate its campus activities.
Look, I understand this is the Appleton School system, however being someone who was attacked by hate/bias during my recent college experience, I must come forward and ask the group to be charged with trolling, ask the group’s Facebook representing the Terror brand be shut down and the school district order they cease and desist from operating as a quorum due to malice and negligence.
I am speaking up for Bullycide prevention as a Veterans Crisis Line survivor and advocate and have begun publishing a newsletter reporting about what is going on. I have also contacted the press after my class president and Appleton West associate principal who is also a part of the Class of ’93 did not intervene and left me on read.
I am in contact with Superintendent Hartjes reporting what is happening, unsure who to speak with to bring our class reunion to order and civility.
I am handing this over to the school board hoping we can organize a reunion trolling task force by building policies used by the university of Wisconsin for hate/bias reporting.
The Wynveen issue is not a laughing matter. Together, through the development of the “Words Kill” campaign, we as an academic honors society can stand up to digital hostility not only with reunions but as a cyberbullying task force on social media.
Through the use of community engagement flow codes, we can connect all in distress with direct access to a reporting link like my Outpost 422 registered trademark created for veterans in distress. Thank you.
Bradley J. Burt
Contact Outpost 422’s reunion newsletter and let’s share your story on the new website regarding trolling by your reunion social media.