Letter: East Ramapo school board's insular

East Ramapo School Board members, from left, Daniel East Ramapo School Board members, from left, Daniel Schwartz, Yehuda Weissmandl, and Eliyahu Solomon attend a board meeting in Spring Valley. (Oct. 23, 2012) Photo Credit: Faye Murman

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I'll show you mine if you show me yours! That is my answer to the East Ramapo School Board's request for resumes to be submitted for consideration to fill the two recently vacated board seats ["E. Ramapo School Board holds off on new appointments," News, Jan. 29].

With few exceptions, the past and current Orthodox Jewish members of the board have refused to attend candidate debates, to complete candidate questionnaires and to be interviewed by the Journal News or any other secular news organization. If I were to submit my resume for consideration, I wonder if the board would reciprocate and divulge what level of education they attained, their employment history, their civic associations, how long they have lived in our community, and the most important question of all: Why did they want to be trustees presiding over the public school education of 9,000 students? Until the current board members show me their resumes, I don't think that I or any other public school parent need apply.

Let's not forget the reason these seats are vacant. Steve Price and Suzanne Young-Mercer resigned their positions, citing intimidation, harassment, threats of legal actions and accusations of religious discrimination as just some of the reasons that made their positions on the board intolerable. Price and Young-Mercer were excluded from important decisions like threatening to sue the state Education Department over sanctions for improper special education placements.

We owe Price and Young-Mercer a debt of gratitude for their battle scars. Nothing short of state intervention will fix East Ramapo.

Peggy Hatton, Chestnut Ridge

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