Friday, 17 September 2010 00:00
I’ve just completed my third reading of school board trustee Karin Campbell’s letter that was published in the Sept. 2 edition of the Westbury Times, the contents of which, I believe, should not be ignored since to my mind, it contains some pretty serious charges that if true, are likely to have legal implications that could affect the board’s ability to function. I guess I was looking for some of the reasons others have suggested why trustee Campbell’s allegations are not worthy of a public response from the administration, or any uncomfortable feeling from the public. To the contrary, I do not believe it would be prudent for the community to casually dismiss Campbell’s assertions as the concoctions of a disgruntled provocateur, especially since the happenings in the district over the summer would make it easy for us to do so. The fable of “the boy who cried wolf” comes to mind, but the danger therein, considering the outcome of this story, is a chance that the community should not be willing to take.
Ms. Campbell carefully quoted sections of the NY State Education Law, and provided a timeline that led to the current board being seated. According to Campbell, not all the factors are in sync with the state education law, and in one instance, the cart may have been placed before the horse since the NY State Supreme Court is not expected to rule on one particular matter before the end of this month. What I gather from this claim by trustee Campbell, is that if the Supreme Court rules against the purported exoneration of school board president Pless Dickerson on the matter of his seat on the board being vacated, (she asserts that there was no official exoneration) then all actions taken by Dickerson and the board since then, would have been null and void. This is serious business. It may also be poppycock, but if it is indeed hogwash, the public should be assured that the district’s business is being conducted in a proper manner and there is no need to be mindful of any “idle” chatter that may be persisting. I do not know if this falls within the ambits of the school board’s attorney, but there must be a third party with the authority to provide the public with such assurance and this should be done sooner rather than later.
The school district has endured a lot with all the comings and goings since early spring; now that fall is here, and we are embarking on a new school calendar year; we need to be doing so with all our collective energy focused on the business of raising our test scores, and concentrating on the good and welfare of our children. We cannot do so in an atmosphere that is tenuous and charged with allegations that go the core of the framework that govern our policies. Let’s clear the air once and for all.