Parents, Public to Petition School Board to Change Board Minutes

Petition states that minutes reflected on school website "do not reflect what happened at the last meeting."

Tim Hoffman, standing, at a meeting on Thursday nigh. Credit: Joseph Pinciaro
Tim Hoffman, standing, at a meeting on Thursday nigh. Credit: Joseph Pinciaro
A group of about 30 members of the Rocky Point community gathered in a back yard Thursday night to discuss keeping a closer eye on what's going in the Rocky Point School District, and started with a petition to call on the school board to amend minutes from the last school board meeting before officially adopting them.

The minutes, available on the school district's website, take particular note of a "large multitude of community members" who showed up at the July 11 school board meeting to protest the fact that Joe Tapler, assistant principal at Joseph A. Edger Intermediary School.

While the minutes note the community sentiment surrounding Tapler's leave, members of the group that met on Thursday night said they feel "the minutes do not reflect what happened at the last meeting."

Namely, the petition – drawn up by Sound Beach resident Ernestine Franco, the Sound Beach Civic Association's liaison to the school district – requests that the minutes be adjusted to reflect the following three things:
  1. "That Dr. Ring's salary and benefits package does not reflect the economic makeup of the district and should be renegotiated.
  2. "That Dr. Ring's administration is having a negative effect on our children.
  3. "That there is a general dissatisfaction with the direction the Board is taking the district."
Board of Education President Michael Nofi offered the following statement: "The recording of district minutes from the meeting in question, as well as those held previously, is in full compliance with the laws of the New York State Education Department. As required, recorded minutes are meant to be a concise record of the actions of the Board that took place, and not a verbatim transcript of everything spoken or alleged at a meeting."

When asked if he would still consider amending the minutes, a spokeswoman for the board of education said in an email that the statement was all he had to offer.

Beyond the petition, Thursday night's meeting acted as the second of what organizer Tim Hoffman said he hopes to be a continued effort to draw parents – and, as Franco pointed out, taxpayers without parents as well – into a conversation to get the public more involved in decisions taking place within the district.

"Everybody is frustrated with a lot of things that are taking place. Whether it’s buildings and maintenance, special education, whether it’s advanced placement – it’s a lot of different things. That’s why we have a lot of paperwork that we’ve FOIL’d."

Many at Thursday night's meeting have used Tapler's situation as a jumping-off point to gather more information over the last month – or at least tried to. Hoffman and others who led the meeting said several Freedom of Information Law requests, also known as FOILs, have not been answered according to state law.

The group said it plans to continue to hold meetings – open to the public – in addition to making a continued presence at school board meetings.

Rocky Point Mama August 16, 2013 at 06:43 PM
It's great that Tim Hoffman and Jen Anderson want to hold "secret" meetings and I commend them for their efforts. However, I would like to bring to light the fact that they are very disrespectful and down right rude to several members of our community who have attempted to join the community in fighting for the rights of our children. It is a shame that they refuse to allow the entire community to be involved and instead shun those that they do not agree with or "like." I just wish that the 2 of them would grow up and stop acting like the children that we are fighting for.
Ace Frehley August 17, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Well, at least you are getting field turf.
chris schu August 18, 2013 at 03:21 PM
who cares about the new turf field. I did not vote for it. I think we should be suspicious of an entity that is not writing minutes of a meeting as it actually happended. There is something else going on here that is not right. And in regard to secret meetings, so what! at least there are meetings going on to discuss the issues that are going on here.
chris schu August 18, 2013 at 03:23 PM
actaully it is not a secret meeting if it was posted on the Miller Place - rocky Point patch on August 15th
DSmiley15 August 19, 2013 at 09:43 AM
I apologize, but I haven't heard very much about this situation at all -- does anyone know WHY Mr. Tapler was "put on leave"? I saw in a previous article there were allegations of criminal activity in the district -- does anyone know what these are? This is pretty serious and I think as parents in the district we need to get to the bottom of this!!
chris schu August 20, 2013 at 05:19 PM
i agree we the parents should get involved.
Photomom August 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM
You should attend the BOE meeting to find out what's going on. Next one in on Aug 26th There will be a rally for Mr. Tapler at 6pm and the BOE meeting start at 7. The last BOE meeting was recorded and is posted on youtube. search rocky point boe 7/11/13
Jennifer Hoffman August 26, 2013 at 10:01 AM
Hey photomom I missed this comment just read your other on the BOE pres statement. Thank you for spreading the info. And I was very upset after a few letters came out and the one I was speaking of wasn't Mike Nofis public statement it was an email that was going around sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me. I know I need a break from being so vocal about parents involvement in our district. I'm hopeful that positive changes will come out of a HUGEly negative situation. I'm glad Joe Tapler was reinstated and I feel it was the passion of the community that made that change happen. I now hope that our teachers will get a fair contract to vote on after 3 long years of working under the triborough amend. Rocky Point is an awesome district!!! My daughter just started SB medical school and graduated Rocky Point in 2009. My heart is here in Rocky Point for many reasons I'd like to see positive change. Jen


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