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:
- "That Dr. Ring's salary and benefits package does not reflect the economic makeup of the district and should be renegotiated.
- "That Dr. Ring's administration is having a negative effect on our children.
- "That there is a general dissatisfaction with the direction the Board is taking the district."
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.