Reine Duell Bethany - Author and Illustrator
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Hempstead School Board Mess

I have not been to a Hempstead School Board meeting since about 2002. I did not put my children into the Hempstead school system and did not give more than a passing shake of the head to articles in Newsday about contentious school board meetings.
     What I saw last Thursday, June 15, the last school board meeting before the year turns over on July 1 to 2017-2018, was embarrassing. The prime element evident was division, and I don't mean heated discussion among board members. I mean three board members and a new superintendent trying to hold a meeting while two other school board participated less and less as the evening wore on. Particularly disturbing to me was that one of those board members arrived 30 minutes late to the meeting and was loudly applauded when he arrived. He made no contribution at all to the school board discussion. When the public portion of the meeting began, two women behind me and many more throughout the large auditorium -- a crowd of at least 100 people -- began to yell down the school board members who tried to answer the questions. The yelling was prolonged, bitter, rude, and furious. I couldn't even hear the question that was being asked most of the time. When the question was answered, the questioner seemed not to understand the answer. One of the two mentioned board members essentially re-asked the question as if he had either not heard or not understood the answer prior. And anytime one of the three board members tried to speak, the yellers just yelled and yelled and yelled.
      The two board members did nothing to discourage the outlandishly childish behavior. The yellers were in support of those two, and those two made no effort to lead their supporters toward civilized behavior.
      Never in my life have I seen such anger and division except once -- in 1992, when the school district where we lived in Brooklyn attempted to introduce a "Rainbow Curriculum" that included giving very young children information about homosexual acts and sought to introduce as a textbook "Heather Has Two Mommies." The wrath that the many biological parents of children felt at being told that their own preference for information on sexual matters might be overridden, in kindergarten at that, did in fact lead to a fever pitch of a crowd yelling down a woman who tried to equate being homosexual with being Negro -- a comparison that angered many black parents.
     But that was a different case. It truly was. This past June 15, what I saw was a large crowd determined not to even let those in support of their apparent (very fuzzy) ideas speak into the mike; the yellers were spending too much time yelling at the school board members they obviously hated.
     There is no way our school district can possibly progress with this level of division present.

11 Comments to Hempstead School Board Mess:

Comments RSS on Thursday, August 24, 2017 12:13 AM
Amazing article. I am so impressed. I think you have a great knowledge especially while dealings with such subjects. Thanks for your publication; wild style. Many thanks sharing your article.
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Reine Duell Bethany on Friday, September 22, 2017 1:33 PM, thank you for your appreciative words. I have spent the past month engrossed in finishing my book and getting ready for the start of the college teaching semester, so have not attended any more school board meetings. I hope to do so soon.

help on Saturday, September 09, 2017 8:40 AM
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Reine Duell Bethany on Friday, September 22, 2017 1:34 PM
Hello, Help, Thank you for your kind words. I will offer more blog writing soon.

Essay tigers review on Thursday, September 21, 2017 7:37 AM
I can totally understand you and support you thought. It is truly a mess not a board meeting. Such things shouldn't be held in such a chaotic way.
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Reine Duell Bethany on Friday, September 22, 2017 1:36 PM
Hello, Essay Tigers Review, You apparently are someone who cares about Hempstead High at a personal level. There has to be a solution to the profound divisions, but the answers won't come easily. The transition from Hempstead High's former renown to its current reputation as the lowest-performing high school in Nassau County is another topic for historical investigation.

aussie essay writing review on Thursday, May 03, 2018 2:06 AM
In this meeting they had surely discussed the matters that mean a lot to every person that are being concern. I am sure that with some amendments we are sure to see the change we are being looking for.
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Reine Duell Bethany on Thursday, July 12, 2018 10:43 AM
Hello, Aussie Essay Writing Review, Thank you for your comment. I don't know why I did not see it before this. The school board situation seems more calm but not much improved, but everyone will keep trying!

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