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Proud Of Republican School Board Members



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To the Editor:

Tuesday, May 16th was a sad day for the town of Newtown, for this was the day The Democrat Town Committee, in conjunction with Newtown Allies for Change, chose to use a display of vile aggression and hostility rarely, if ever, seen in our town towards volunteer BOE members.

The conversation about the books was completely overshadowed by the egregious behavior of those the democrats rallied to come out to the meeting. To describe what took place that evening words cannot express, as only those in attendance could truly understand.

We witnessed extreme name calling (names we can’t in good conscience put in print), loud obnoxious disruptions when BOE members tried to speak, laughing and mocking when opposing views were spoken, middle fingers being used toward elected volunteers, hollering, chanting, including one BOE member who actually had an object thrown at them.

The chair had to ask the room to clear after multiple attempts to calm their aggressive behavior, in which they refused to leave. The DTC is aware of public participation rules and decorum and they purposely showed utter lack of regard for these rules. The DTC openly recruited people from out of town to speak and attend the rally they held prior to the meeting. Obviously, the DTC encouraged and endorsed the disrespectful and disruptive behavior that was on full display Tuesday evening.

The Republican BOE members came to the table to offer solutions of compromise for both sides of the argument, however the Democratic members refused to compromise or offer any alternative solutions, which left the vote in deadlock. No matter what the outcome was, this behavior at this meeting was unacceptable and an embarrassment for all of Newtown.

The Newtown Republican Town Committee stands by our elected Republican members of the BOE who have undoubtedly been grappling with this difficult decision for weeks. We are proud of the fact that despite the environment they were subjected to, they maintained their composure and remained committed to working to find a solution to this very difficult issue.

Newtown RTC

William DeRosa — Chair

Angela Curri — Vice Chair

Michele Buzzi — Secretary

John Madzula 2nd — Treasurer

Comments are open. Be civil.
  1. bill says:

    I appreciated reading a comment from Ms. Hungaski regarding the application of the 14th Amendment and the commensurate process for establishing ‘standards’ v ‘polic[ies]’ and all of the subjective abstractions that inevitably ensue when using legal and/or public forum syntax. Meanwhile, while people shout at each other at town meetings, there is context and precedent. Public school decisions are made at the local level in this country – via local, duly elected school boards- regarding curriculum; which courses to offer; and which textbooks to buy. (I remember the first exception to this was when John F Kennedy mandated physical education as a federal mandate, because he thought the children were so out of shape). It would surprise most parents that courses like American history, mathematics, and English grammar are not required and are technically and legally optional even at the high school level in the United States. The furor over the “don’t say gay bill“ in Florida was was initiated by the precise opposite dynamic that everyone assumed was in play: a well-funded multi-state PAC wanted to require certain curricula to be taught in the Florida schools. When the governor insisted through a bill that those decisions remain with the local boards, that same PAC deliberately labeled it with the strategic metaphor “don’t say gay“. There was nothing in the governor’s bill using those words. The bill was simply reinforcing that parents would continue deciding that which was taught in their schools and federal groups and multi state groups had to respect that. Add issue here are the national groups insisting on that what should be taught in the small towns of the United States. They want a federal curriculum that reflects specific political vanities. The gimmick has been, and continues to be, pretending that those fighting back against being dominated are somehow trying to control others. I have to admit, the strategy is quite clever. Meanwhile, all of this is moot because local boards of education hold the pursestrings and they order textbooks and library books with their budget. They can choose what to buy and what not to buy. It’s always been that way. They don’t have to have a policy, per se, They just have to check the purchase orders. Cheers.

  2. tim06470 says:

    Your list of unsubstantiated accusations are a classic attempt to deflect the legitimate criticism being directed at the Republican members of the Board of Education. The three Republican members present on May 16 made it clear that they are not interested in the findings of the review committee, the superintendent, or the dozens of educators who find that these challenges are without merit. In fact, the Republican members have stated that they are determined to ban two books from the library based on their own discomfort with the books’ content. Their attempt to redefine the term “sexually explicit” to suit their own narrative is farcical at best.

    I’ll agree that the atmosphere in the room was charged and there were some outbursts. However, many Americans get upset when conservative extremists start attacking intellectual freedom.

    1. nb.john.voket says:

      Saying “…the atmosphere in the room was charged and there were some outbursts,” is an understatement according to those we heard from – pro and con regarding the challenges – and who were in the room, or passing by the pre-meeting rally.

      1. basedinreality says:

        Sounds like you weren’t there since you’re basing your opinion on people you’ve heard from. I was there and it was exactly that: charged. Nowhere near what the letter from the Republican Committee described. And, John, I really don’t appreciate your bringing the unspeakable tragedy of Sandy Hook into your editorial as a measure of how our community should conduct itself. Absolutely different thing from this. I understand where your were trying to go with that comparison, but it was inappropriate. And since when is the editor getting into the weeds in comments? What happened to objective reporting? You’re saying that this reader is wrong?

        1. nb.john.voket says:

          I listened to audio of the meeting, and relied on my reporter (among others) to be accurate in her description of the audience. And if you saw where I was ‘trying to go’ with the Sandy Hook reference, you do get it – so no need to direct your social shaming my way. As far as engaging through online comments, it’s a thing.

          1. basedinreality says:

            Wow. I’m done.

          2. basedinreality says:

            There were SO many other ways you could have responded as the editor. I expect more from The Bee.

        2. brendan_l says:

          basedinreality, I think you need a reality check. The atmosphere at the May 2 meeting was emotionally charged. Those charged emotions turned into action at the May 16 meeting with shouting, booing, jeering, mocking, and straight up bullying those opposed these books.

          1. basedinreality says:

            Emotionally charged is a good way to describe it. And if you’re in a public facing role as a volunteer, you need to develop a thicker skin. The majority of people in attendance at this meeting were incensed at the fact that four members were completely ignoring expert opinion, students, and a large contingent of their community. Were some people a little over the top, I think yes — but a very small minority in attendance. You and I saw the same thing but take away different views. Fine. I’ll respect your view. But I’ll agree to disagree.

          2. brendan_l says:

            basedinreality, I cannot reply directly to your last comment so this is that – I guess this is too deep in the chain. I respect your view as well, thank you. I agree that it was a small minority in attendance but they were the “loud” ones that everyone, including all the children, watched and possibly learned from. And because I have not seen any book supporters speak out against this loud minority, I have to assume people are alright with it.

            Now that the vote is complete, I will say that I am happy the kids retained their books. BUT, I am not at all happy that people were not speaking out against poor public behavior throughout this whole ordeal. If poor public behavior is not checked, it can only lead to more poor public behavior. This is exactly what happened on June 1. I’m sure you witnessed it, but in case you didn’t, please watch 33:20 to 43:20 of the June 1 meeting – this is what happens when poor public behavior is not checked. You can read my full opinion on this matter in my soon to be published Letter to the Editor “Kudos Newtown: The Sequel”

  3. suzannem says:

    Reacting rather than responding is rarely a way to further one’s cause. That said, this letter omits one important factor. This climate of reaction and fearmongering was set in motion by the Rebulican members of the BOE and thus led to the chicken little town cries of “pull the porn” and similar rants on protecting the minds of our poor children. The emotive outbursts seen at the BOE meeting, while unhelpful and indecorous, are nonetheless understandable as we are talking about something far greater and far more perncious than say, whether or not to add a vegan option to the school menu. We are talking about censorship and when we look back at people over history who have become emotive over issues such as civil rghts, authoritarianism and censorsihp, we tend to understand and forgive their passion. This letter from the RTC purports to shine a light on the “egregious actions” of a few attendees however, there is another more authentic word for what it is: gaslighting.

  4. teacher_citizen says:

    I’ve recently learned that the RTC chair was one of the people who filed a challenge against Flamer. If that is true, this letter is pretty ironic. Such chutzpah.

  5. suh_dude says:

    Everyone who is taking time to argue about this clearly has no real problems in their lives

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