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Letter to the Editor: 'Malverne BOE Conflicts Interfering with Education'

Resident asks school board members to resolve differences, work together to solve issues facing district.

At recent meetings of the Malverne Board of Education it has become obvious that interpersonal conflicts between two of the Trustees on the Board are interfering with the business of educating our children.

That is a most unfortunate situation but not one that is unusual. There are news reports of a similar situation in the neighboring district of West Hempstead. What is more disturbing is the level of vitriol and the unseemly dialogue being conducted on social media websites by some members of the community about the situation. This is divisive and unproductive. As a community we should not be taking sides in the dispute. Instead we should be demanding that those whom we have elected fulfill their responsibilities to conduct themselves professionally and in accordance with the rules of procedure that govern BOE meetings and for setting policy.

Trustees have an obligation to work cooperatively with each other regardless of their personal feelings toward each other and they should not be using public meetings to grandstand or air their grievances with each other. The parents, children, teachers and staff are all being caught in the cross fire but we all need to take a deep breath and lower the temperature of the public discourse.

The school shooting in Connecticut should make us all take a step back and gain a bit of perspective over the current situation. The senseless deaths of innocent children and caring educators in Connecticut remind us that there is sometimes real evil in the world. Luckily for us, it is not here in Malverne. There are no heroes and no villains here. We just have individuals who care passionately about the job they have been elected to do but who have lost their way a bit in how to do it.

I would like to see all involved make a public commitment to do whatever it takes to resolve their differences and work cooperatively together to solve the issues facing this district.

And on Facebook, let's try to remember we're not talking about characters in a made for TV movie. These people are our neighbors and frends and we need to treat each other with respect even when we disagree. 

Jeanne D'Esposito

Malverne School District resident

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Larry December 17, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Thank you Jeanne. You have very eloquently stated what needs to happen.
Susan Murphy December 17, 2012 at 03:33 PM
It is a perfect summation, Jeanne.
Giulia Migliaccio December 17, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Well said Jeanne!
Gerald Barr December 17, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Jeanne, your letter is welcome but misguided. Decorum is but the least of residents’ concern with this group of board members. This is not one incidence of poor behavior but a pattern of public disregard, stonewalling and bullying. Anyone has the right to civil disobedience when harassment, inefficiency and possible corruption are too much to endure. We should lend support to whistleblowers who stick their necks out for our welfare. I guess the possible wrong doing is negligible. Unfortunately, this is what emboldens bullies when we are focused on redherrings.
Tom Grech December 18, 2012 at 12:21 AM
It's not decorum but professionalism and mutual respect that seems to be lacking across the board. These BOE members weren't elected to "fight" literally for the interests of the District; they were elected to represent all constituents in a civil manner. I give Jeanne great credit for a thoughtful and meaningful response to what many, many people are thinking. Thank you!
Dolores December 18, 2012 at 12:38 AM
She forgot to sign the letter Hunderfund puppet too. She continues to defend the actions of this administration and board. Even after the ridiculous show on the video her concerns are with facebook.Maybe the creators of the facebook page should close it to make her happy but that won't change the shenanigans in Malverne. Misguided to say the least.
Gerald Barr December 18, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Professionalism? They aren't paid and if they were, they'd be fired like the rest of us saps. As for mutual respect, that is only afforded 4 members and the superintendent as far as many, many of us see. As previously stated, any representative has the right to civil disobedience when harassment, inefficiency and possible corruption are too much to endure and if any of Ms. Genti's charges are true, civility should be the last thing on the public's mind as that would not only constitute a breach of public trust but improper use of public funds. If the public's priorities are misplaced so will our leaders.
Jan Kasal December 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM
I feel the author’s frustration with the Malverne board. Just the fact that Mrs. D’Esposito had to sit down and dedicate her time to write about the board itself is frustrating. The board doesn’t deserve our time. It started on the wrong foot in July with separating itself from the public. It assumed an absolute power and decided on its own to extend the administrative raises and contract. Now, with the rest of December being filled with holidays, this board can be considered a history. Think forward to the May elections. Do we want to be preoccupied with an old board when the superintendent’s council presents “choices” of devoted followers? Or do we present choices that have broader horizons the district has to offer? I am ready for the latter and you can join me at vevajanka@hotmail.com.
Gina Genti December 19, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Malverne 12 taxpayers should be interested in any response that comes from the questions I had hoped to ask at the December 12 meeting. They pertain to policy and procedure and wasteful spending. They were not personal or directed towards any individual board member. Policy, procedure and spending is the crux of the issue and focusing your attention on FB detracts from that. http://malverne-lynbrook.patch.com/articles/genti-releases-statement-questions-intended-for-malverne-boe-meeting
Ivan Ivanovich December 21, 2012 at 02:03 PM
This school board is a big reason why 75% of school aged children in the district don't go to malverne schools

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