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A Westford Academy social studies teacher who served as the president of the teacher’s union over the past year will be charged in Ayer District Court on Feb. 10 with criminal harassment and identification fraud, according to Court Office Manager Deb Mickle.
Colson, who had been the Westford Education Association’s secretary, took on the role of president sometime in 2019 and quickly stirred the pot over finances regarding the town’s nine schools, complaining about forthcoming budget cuts, even though town officials noted that budget presentations had not yet begun.
In a letter to the editor, dated Nov. 14, 2019, Colson, of Littleton, said he had grown up in Connecticut, the son of two elementary school teachers.
“I have relished the privilege of teaching history at Westford Academy for the past 16 years, during which I have taught more than 2,500 students in my classes,” he stated.
The pending alleged charges against Colson astounded some, given the accusations brought by Westford resident Janelle Cioffi who, on January 22, detailed her alleged experiences with Colson on a Facebook page for Westford residents.
Cioffi stated, “over the past 15 months, I have been harassed publicly on Facebook, privately thru (sic) Facebook messenger, and defamed through emails sent to residents and employees of Westford and Westford Public Schools. Some of the aliases that were used to accomplish the above were Kate Lawson and Dave Townie Weir.”
Cioffi said the alleged harassment began in November 2019, before her unsuccessful run for School Committee, and continued afterward. She praised Westford police for their professional approach in researching the matter, and Westford educators for keeping her three children safe.
“I am looking forward to my day in court so I can present the rest of the evidence against Mr. Colson for the terrible acts against my family and me, and look forward to the justice system handling it from there,” she stated.
Mickle said she could not provide the name of a representing attorney for Colson as one was not listed in his file. Colson did not return emails seeking comment.
WestfordCAT News will bring updates as this story unfolds.