To the Editor,

I want to thank all of the members of our wonderful community who stood up for me over the summer, and helped me regain my seat on the Piscataway School Board.  (To be clear, I am writing as a private citizen and not speaking on behalf of the Board, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of the Board.)  So many of you reached out, offered support and encouragement and lifted my spirits after I was improperly and illegally removed from Board by the so-called Better, Safer Schools slate (BSS).  

Community support means the world to me, and helped me get through this difficult time.  I hope that the BSS team of Kim Lane, Shelia Hobson, Nitang Patel, Jeffrey Fields, Calvin Laughlin, and Brenda Smith will end their political vendetta once and for all. I hope they will fulfill their legal and financial obligations in this matter, expenses they incurred and have yet to resolve. The BSS slate wasted your taxpayer money, even though I implored them not to engage in this unethical practice. I knew their arbitrary and capricious action would not withstand a legal challenge, but the BSS Slate acted with impunity and arrogance because they were spending your money, not theirs. I hope they will learn from this experience and not continue to litigate what they owe, which will needlessly lead to further attorney's fees and waste even more of your hard-earned tax dollars.

Sign Up for Piscataway Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Hope is not enough, though.  We must vote. In order for our schools and our community to heal, we need to have honest, thoughtful and caring people serving on our Board. Please join me in voting for my friends Dr. Tom Connors, Shantell Cherry, and Zoe Scotto, the candidates in Column 2.  I have served with Tom, Shantell and Zoe during my time on the Board, and I know they are the dedicated and responsive Board members Piscataway deserves. They are highly qualified, experienced candidates with long records of service to our community, and they put our kids first.

I am grateful that Tom, Shantell and Zoe stood with me when the BSS members voted to remove me on trumped-up attendance charges while I was working as a first responder during the COVID state of emergency.  I am very glad a judge and then the Commissioner of Education restored me to the Board, after finding that the BSS members’ actions were illegal and unjust.  But, I should have never had to go through that in the first place. What kind of people try to use a pandemic to carry out political revenge? Are those the sort of people that you would want running your schools? Me neither. That’s why I urge you to vote Column 2, Tom Connors, Shantell Cherry, and Zoe Scotto for School Board.

None of the BSS members have publicly or privately apologized to me for their actions.  They just press forward with their agenda to help the Mayor move his agenda. School Board elections are non-partisan, which is why those choices are in a separate section.  But ask yourself, why are these people running for the Board of Education?  What have they done besides approve a variance allowing the Mayor to take down trees at Arbor School, so trucks can get to the Mayor’s warehouses more easily?  Where were they when the Mayor announced plans to build yet another warehouse, bringing noise and air pollution, right by Schor School? Nowhere.  They haven’t made our schools better or safer for our students, staff or community.  Some of them have been paid by the Mayor’s political arm, and one even has a pending ethics complaint stemming from his racist, anti-Muslim attack on my friend and former Board colleague Dr. Atif Nazir.  Our school community needs leaders who lift up our diversity and build bridges, not divide us and tear each other down.

We shouldn’t play politics with our schools.  That’s why the school board election is in a separate section on the ballot. This year, it is on the back of your ballot.  Please turn the page on the illegal attacks on me and restore integrity, inspiration and leadership to our School Board.  Vote Tom Connors, Shantell Cherry and Zoe Scotto in Column 2, in the non-partisan School Board election, on the back of your ballot.  If you want to learn more about the candidates, visit their Facebook page, and their website .  I look forward to continuing to serve on the Board of Education with them, and to serving all of our students, families and taxpayers.

Thank you for standing up for justice, for standing with me and for Putting Kids First by Voting Column 2!


Ralph Johnson