To the editor:
It’s about integrity.
I note with satisfaction that Flemington-Raritan Superintendent of Schools Maryrose Caulfield has resigned. But school board President Anna Fallon has not yet offered the same public service.
Hoping to remind her and the district's stakeholders of her unfitness, I'll recount just one ugly episode in which she played a starring role.
I was appointed to the school board in January of 2014, and within months made myself unwelcome by trying to live up to my responsibility and not just rubberstamp whatever the business administrator put in front of us.
Since the Sandy Hook School shooting in Connecticut in 2012, the district had been working to tighten security at our schools. Board President Bruce Davidson had appointed me liaison to Flemington Borough Council so that I could improve communication between council and the school board.
In that capacity, I shared some early-stage, general school-security ideas with Flemington police, council members and other borough leaders to involve them in the process. None of this material was marked confidential.
In August, I impugned the competence of the school district’s business administrator several times as I opposed rebonding with RBC Capital Markets. My punishment came later that month: Anna Fallon, who was then vice president of the board, suddenly discovered that in February I had shared “secret” school-security information. She made this phony but dramatic accusation at a board meeting, raving that I'd endangered the students, and she demanded my resignation. Parents and staffers fell for it and piled on, emotions running high.
To maximize my disgrace, Fallon made sure this made-up scandal got news coverage in the local newspaper. The teachers' union demanded an apology from me at several meetings.
But months later, on Dec. 2, the newspaper reported that the document itself showed no sensitive information – it had already been posted to the school district’s website.
Thus Anna Fallon sold her soul – for what? Not for power; the school board yielded its power years ago. Just to maintain a status quo in which top administrators make all the decisions while board members nod in agreement. I don't understand why Fallon wants to protect that arrangement.
But in any case, leadership is about integrity, not intimidation, and Mrs. Fallon needs to resign.
Al Brewer, Flemington
Editor's note: The author is also a former Flemington Borough Councilman.