At the May 9th school board meeting, a concerned parent, Mr. John Schwartz, said, “somebody needs to step up” and suspend a teacher, (revealing the name) for alleged harassment and bullying of student in the classroom. It is my opinion that he made a mistake by revealing the teachers name. You see, you must be careful that when you step up, you do not step on a teacher’s reputation, a reputation that took years in the making. He may have made an even bigger mistake to insinuate that the old board did nothing about his alleged claim of harassment. I resent that. Permit me to explain.
Mr. Schwartz requested that this newly-elected board, once again look into his claim.
This new board is comprised of two new members. Seven trustees that are familiar with his claim did take a position and action. Are they now supposed move away from the position they have taken. I find that to be most interesting.
This entire matter is reminiscent of when a teacher in our system, Doug DePice, in a letter to this column June 24, 2010, questioned, “the mental capacity of the people who are running our board.” And also wrote “how tired he is of seeing good people being destroyed, overlooked, threatened, slandered or alienated in our school system.”
Mr. De Pice’s implication then and Mr. Schwartz’s now was that the board was/is not cognizant of the consequence that may result from the course of action Mr. Schwartz has now chosen and wants the board to take. Is not this teacher being destroyed, threatened, slandered by Mr. Schwartz allegation? I believe every parent that has a child in this system wants to know. Are students being bullied by teachers? Has the board done nothing about it? Let the facts behind this claim come out. Why is it that those who are the quickest to judge are often those in possession of the fewest facts? Mr. Schwartz, if you think you have a case, take it to court. My position on his allegation has been expressed in caucus and is confidential. If Mr. Schwartz thinks he knows where I stand on his claim of harassment, he didn’t get it from me.
To me it is not a question where I sat on this issue, it is where I stood. I am curious to know where new board members stand, where teachers employed in out system stand and where parents of students in our school system stand. Speak up. Please.
Former Secaucus Board Trustee