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Letter: Glen Cove PTSA In Compromising Position

At a recent Glen Cove Board of Education meeting, the president of the PTSA rose to speak. She started by asking a series of rather odd questions – directed at the new board president – that had the strong feel of being entrapment or designed  to embarrass. The board president dealt, surprisingly, with these very professionally.

The speaker finally stated that she (heard by the people present and reported in the press) “cannot and will not work with” the new board president. At that point, regardless of any past, present or future statements, this person created a direct personal adversarial relationship with the school board and the administration. From that point on any discussion by this person with the administration or the board, or any public statement will be suspect and considered (real or not) to have a private agenda thus making her ineffectual as president of the PTSA.

Making matters worse, in a recent letter to the editor, this person stated that she was a PTSA member and continued the personal agenda with a long diatribe attacking the board president. This now has reinforced the fact that this issue will be carried on and on by her at a personal level.

This puts the PTSA in a compromising position of having to decide to support that policy (and thereby create an adversarial relationship with the board and administration) or to have her resign from office. Further, any adversarial relationship with the board is also an adversarial relationship with the taxpayers who elected the board (the PTSA does not represent the taxpayers, only the parents of students, the students and the teachers – and a limited number of those).

In the business world, an upper level person who states that they cannot or will not work with management is automatically released from employment in the best interests of both. Direct threats are not tolerated because from that point on trust is lost regardless of future behavior. There can be only one resolution that would put the teamwork back. The PTSA has to act because this behavior can only affect the PTSA and the district in a negative manner if permitted to continue in the public venue or in board meetings.

Glenn Howard, Jr. PhD