Tensions remained high at the first Jersey City Board of Education meeting since the JCEA election night victory, which included the board bringing back video recording of public speakers, and the teachers union walking out early once again.
The night also included a debate over the recent Report Card Night protest, with election rivals Matt Schapiro, a member of the Parents 4 Excellence campaign with a child in Jersey City Public Schools, and JCEA President Ronnie Greco sharing opposing viewpoints regarding the protest.
Schapiro spoke first, stating that the teachers’ protest was essentially employees disobeying their boss when told to do something they don’t want to do, and that the idea was “destructive.”
Schapiro also said the environment created by teachers during meetings and on social media was “dangerous.”
Later on in the meeting Greco responded to Schapiro, reminding him that New Jersey is a “blue state” with laws that favor public sector unions. He specifically mentioned Established Past Practice (EPP), and that since the early 70’s Report Card Night had started at 6:30 PM.
Greco also added that the union had complied with the request to start at 6:00 PM last year, but that a grievance filed by the JCEA regarding last years start time still hasn’t been addressed by the district because of staffing issues in the human resources department.
After the public speaking portion of the night, which included heated questions and commentary by many teachers, as well as the entire Children’s First team, including soon to be board members Gerald Lyons and Lorenzo Richardson, the JCEA walked out before Superintendent Dr. Marcia Lyles and the board could respond to the issues raised.