Address Grievances

Aug 02, 2017

To the Editor:

In response to a letter by the Stafford Township Board of Education president (“Full Confidence,” 6/14), first let me thank you for “educating” me about your role in the BOE. As a parent I can appreciate what the nine of you do throughout the course of your elected terms. In the past, we have all been confident that the BOE and superintendent have always had our children’s best interests at heart. However, due to recent decisions and conduct during current BOE meetings, as well as behind closed doors, I beg to differ.

I previously did not attend BOE meetings because I personally felt the school district was in good hands, and nothing that I was aware of would lead me to believe otherwise. Earlier this year, my attention was focused on the impending turmoil bestowed on the teachers, aides and principals of our respected school district. I felt it was finally necessary to get involved and be present for future BOE meetings. What an eye opener: double lawyers, sidebar conversations and lengthy self-justifying commentaries.

You said at the July 19 BOE meeting that you did not feel there was any reason to believe there were issues to address regarding the relationship between residents/parents of Stafford and the BOE and the current superintendent. You said that anyone who sees you outside of meetings claims everything is going well and what a great job all of you are doing. If you could’ve heard the comments being made from the audience that night you may have reconsidered your statements.

Everything is not going well in the Stafford Township School District. Utmost admiration and respect for your teachers? We have teachers working without a current contract since June 1, 2016, struggling to keep their jobs and forced to keep their opinions and suggestions quiet in fear of retaliation from our virtuous superintendent. 

Your comment about his new five-year contract extension and $30,000 salary raise “because he deserves it now!” was condescending and contemptuous to the taxpayers of this town. Our existing school administrators may want to be more careful about how they speak to the public, very sanctimonious.

Lastly, you spoke of district administrators having the utmost character and integrity. I cannot form an opinion about what you do in your personal lives, and we would never bring anyone’s families into this (as you claimed was being done). Nevertheless, your robotic voting and subservient support of the current superintendent reveal otherwise. Please do not mislead the public. The BOE has more power than you are willing to disclose.

Mr. BOE President, I assure you that we are not declaring war on any of you or trying to make our BOE meetings a circus. We are all concerned parents as well as taxpayers, and want the best for our kids as well as our school district. I am not going to agree to disagree with you. If the board and superintendent feel you are being attacked for no good reason, then you obviously are not listening to your constituents in this town. Our grievances should be addressed, not ignored.

We all feel where there is smoke, there is fire.

Lisa Mastroianni

Stafford Township


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