To the editor:
I note with dismay that Flemington-Raritan school board President Anna Fallon and Superintendent Maryrose Caulfield are apparently continuing to rule the school district by shutting out parents, taxpayers, teachers, and anyone else who wants to ask questions, voice concerns or receive information.
Rachael Ladd has stepped up and posted two petitions on the change.org website – one calls upon Ms. Fallon to resign from the school board and the other calls upon Dr. Caulfield to resign and failing that, for the board to remove her.
When I served on the school board in 2015, I did my best to establish public discussions at board meetings and to make board members live up to their responsibilities. But the board had relinquished its power to its business administrator and superintendent, with the board leadership acting as their palace guard. But I found myself leading a revolution of one, and it wasn’t working.
There were reprisals against me. Scandals were manufactured by the board leadership and district administration, including Anna Fallon and Maryrose Caulfield. The outrage that I had hoped to stir up in the cause of good government was being stirred up against me. I could see that my dissent was distracting the board members from what little business its leaders were willing to let them transact, so I resigned to serve on Borough Council where my service was appreciated.
Now Flemington Borough Council members are complaining that the school officials are reluctant to share information with them, and at a recent school board meeting a parade of parents and educators spoke out for the right to communicate with the board without fear of retribution.
I don’t know Rachael Ladd, but I do know Anna Fallon and Maryrose Caulfield, and Ms. Ladd’s charges ring true. Here’s hoping that her petitions will rally public outrage and produce a good effect.
One of her petitions states that under Dr. Caulfield, “our district has become paralyzed… due to an apparent lack of integrity, honesty, collaboration, and professionalism,” and cites in detail the ways in which the superintendent has fallen short or overstepped.
The other one also cites paralysis due to Ms. Fallon’s “apparent lack of impartiality, integrity, honesty, collaboration, and professionalism, as well as a willful disregard for the concerns of FRSD stakeholders. Staff and parents are being intimidated and repeatedly interrupted by Ms. Fallon when addressing the board.” Ms. Ladd then presents a long list of the board president’s alleged violations and failures.
I urge parents, taxpayers and staff to Google: “Change.org Rachael Ladd,” read all about Ms. Fallon and Dr. Caulfield, and sign the petitions. Ms. Ladd is storming the citadel, and I can tell you from experience, it’s not a one-person task.
Alan P. Brewer, Flemington