BOE Discusses Resolution on Diversity – But Some Say a Statement Might Be Too Political


BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The board of education discussed a resolution approved by another local board regarding diversity in the district – but several members expressed the view that following suit would be more political than a board of education should be.

The resolution was approved in Piscataway, and recognizes that the district is committed to providing an education to all students, regardless of race, religion, country of origin and more.

Board member Jacqueline Barlow said she would be in favor of approving such a resolution, and would expand it to include other markers as well.

Sign Up for E-News

“I think it’s good to be proactive,” she said.

But other board members said they are concerned about approving any kind of resolution that makes a political statement.

“I agree substantively with everything here,” board member Jeffrey Brookner said. “I wrestle though with separating my personal political views with my role as a board member for this school district. I don’t feel it is appropriate to state my deeply held political views as the view of the school district.”

In addition, Brookner said, he is concerned that making such a resolution would be making a promise the board might not always be able to keep.

“We could be getting in a position where we could jeopardize funding, and I think that adopting a resolution like this would be a step too far,” he said.

Although the district does not discriminate against students for any reason, and is committed to diversity Brookner said, anything could change. For example, he said, if Gov. Chris Christie announces that there is a new executive order that school district are obligated to report any undocumented students to customs officials, the district would be required to do so as commanded by law.

“That would be a binding order, and not doing it would be jeopardizing the school district,” he said. “We just don’t know what is going to happen.”

Board member Ann Marie Mead said she does not understand the purpose of such a resolution.

“I’m struggling to understand what the problem is that we’re trying to fix,” she said. “I have never known a board member or anyone to not support students in any way. But we are supposed to be a non-partisan group.”

Brookner said he would support just making a statement that the district supports all students, but Mead said she is not sure she believes even that is necessary.

“I am totally committed to every student and providing to all what is appropriate,” she said. “I don’t want to react to what is happening on cable news.”

“Let’s continue to operate and do what we’ve done,” she said. “I think actions speak louder than words, and there is a code of ethics that says we must follow the law.”

Board member Lynne Hurley agreed.

“The resolution seems political,” she said. “Although I agree with what it says, I don’t think we need to say anything. I fear we will be in a position someday that we will have to say something, but it’s not a problem right now.”

Board vice president Melanie Thiesse, who brought up the resolution to the board, said she just wants to reaffirm to the community that they are for all the children.

“We are committed to educating them and getting everyone to realize that we are so different, and that is great,” she said. “Because this was coming up in other districts, I thought we should talk about it.”

No decision about passing a resolution or making a statement was made.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Sat, March 24

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Les Photos de Bernie at the Wayrick ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, March 24, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster

Youth Art Month

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 9:30 AM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Nature-Infused Yoga Winter/Spring ...

Green Health & Wellness

Bound Brook Man Arrested After Shoplifting from Macy's, Bridgewater Police Say

March 23, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Bound Brook man was arrested March 16 after being found with clothing from Macy's in the Bridgewater Commons Mall, according to a report from Bridgewater Township Police.

David Meladze, 26, was charged with shoplifting and possession of burglar's tools.

According to the report, he was found with $160 worth of merchandise from the store.

Meladze was processed ...

Financial Advisor James A. Lewy, CFP™, Earns Title of Managing Director - Investments

March 23, 2018

Flemington, NJ. March 8, 2018 — James A. Lewy, CFP™, a financial advisor with the Flemington branch of Wells Fargo Advisors located on Main Street in downtown historic Flemington, has been named Managing Director - Investments.  Lewy has served with Wells Fargo Advisors for 17 years and has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. 

Lewy holds a ...

Somerville Student Activist Organizes March for Our Lives Vigil March 24

March 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - Like millions of Americans, Somerville High School junior Kira Edgar was fraught with anger and outrage by last month’s shooting deaths of 17 students and staff at their high school in Parkland, Fla.

The 17-year-old decided to add her voice to a growing nationwide protest against gun violence.

She is one of 19 student organizers of the statewide March for Our ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Health Alert: Child with Measles Traveled to Newark Airport on March 12

March 15, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — If you were at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, March 12 between 12:45 and 9 p.m., you may have been exposed to measles and should contact your health care provider

The N.J. Department of Health has issued a public health alert after a child with a confirmed case of measles — a highly contagious disease — arrived in Terminal B at Newark Liberty ...