These comments are in response to Pat O'Malley's Sidelines column ofAug. 19. As a responsible journalist, O'Malley should research both sides of an issue before he voices his published opinion.
It is evident to those aware of the situation that O'Malley needs to attend the Northeast High School Community Family's next meeting, which will be held at Woodland Beach Inn tomorrow at 8 p.m. This way, O'Malley can get the facts straight before he writes another column with insufficient and misleading comments.
Will things ever get back to "normal" at Northeast as long as Joseph Carducci Jr. is principal? We sincerely doubt it.
The fiasco at Northeast has been embarrassing for the educational system because Superintendent Larry Lorton admitted mistakes have been made and he could have stepped in and rectified the situation.
However, Lorton and the Board of Education have chosen not to deal with the situation. Then Lorton wonders why the parents have gone to the media.
The parents didn't create the fiasco, they have only sought to see that justice was done for all concerned -- mainly their children, the students at Northeast High School. The parents originally hoped to get BobGrimm reinstated to his rightful position as athletic director.
But almost immediately, they started hearing very disturbing information about Carducci's in-school religious beliefs and philosophies.
The Northeast High School Community Family was formed to follow the necessary procedures to get Bob Grimm reinstated and Carducci dismissed. We attempted to resolve that issue by meeting with Lorton on June 10 and with Carducci on June 14.
At the June 14 meeting, Shirley Hicks, superintendent of secondary education, led us to believe that Carducci was within the scope of his authority on the abortion issue. We appeared before the Board of Education on June 17, at which time we were shot down in relation to the issue and the personnel problem at Northeast.
On June 26, we again corresponded with Lorton about the Carducci problem. On July 3, we again appeared before the Board ofEducation and asked them to help us at Northeast -- to which there was no response. On July 8, we requested a hearing before the board. This request was denied. On July 29, we again met with Carducci with no apparent success.
We'd like to supply Pat O'Malley with a littlebackground information. Carducci's unhappiness with Bob Grimm becamepublic during the request for rescheduling of the now infamous lacrosse tournament. The original Good Friday date was requested and approved by the former principal, Joseph Cardamone.
Carducci was adamant in demanding the impossible task of rescheduling the James Griffin Memorial Lacrosse Tournament. Grimm's 15 years' experience and monthsof planning made him realize that any attempt to reschedule the tournament at that late date would be fruitless.
When Carducci dismissed Grimm and his assistant, Bart Rader, the students at Northeast staged a protest and would not enter the building. Carducci threatened the students with suspension, and the seniors were told they would notgraduate from the commencement stage.
Grimm asked the students toreturn to their classes. The students responded and returned to their classes out of respect for Grimm. Carducci should take note.
Theissue of Grimm's insubordination over the rescheduling of the lacrosse match was grieved, and Grimm was cleared of charges.
We applaud(guidance counselor) Len Sokolof for taking a stand and exposing Carducci's abortion policy. Sokolof has come forward with evidence of the abortion issue at Northeast. Without his testimony, this matter could not be pursued. We're concerned that there are other issues related to Carducci's parochial philosophies that have not yet been addressed.
We do not admire Carducci's stubbornness or dictatorial leadership at Northeast High School. We're not interested in running the school system, either. This has not been an enjoyable, pleasant task for us to pursue this summer during our vacation time. But we're willing to give our time, energies and whatever else it takes because we'reinterested in the educational well-being of our children, both academically and athletically.
Who is Pat O'Malley to dispute a parent's concern for the welfare of their children? You should admire us forour "tenacity and courage to stand up and be counted" on behalf of our children.
One final question for Mr. O'Malley: As a parent, wouldn't you do the same for your family?