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.
Malverne School District resident
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