A Note From The Columnist:
Larry Smith's story, "Teachers, Others Reproach Officials: Newspaper Column, Letter to Editor Criticized ", published on 02/13/2008, describes me as a member of the Audit Committee of the Enfield Board of Education. This is factually incorrect.
During the Board Comments section of the meeting, Judy Apruzzese-Desroches clarified that James T. "Jim" Brislin (D) is a member of audit committee, but I, James Bailey Brislin (R), am not.
As is indicated in The Enfield Press, I am a member of the Republican Town Committee.
I would appreciate appropriate correction of this error in the print and electronic editions of the newspaper. Thank you.
James Bailey Brislin
Teachers, Others Reproach Officials
Newspaper Column, Letter To Editor Criticized
By LARRY SMITH
Courant Staff Writer
February 13, 2008
Teachers and residents told the board of education Tuesday that the budget deliberations are creating a sense of fear and distrust in the school community.
About 16 people spoke during the communications portion of the board's regular meeting. Most of the speakers said they were upset by a column that schools audit committee member James Bailey Brislin wrote and a letter to the editor from Republican town committee chairwoman Mary Ann Turner, both in a local newspaper. The speakers said the column and the letter unfairly bashed teachers.
Linda Dalpe, chairwoman of Enfield High School world language department, said the articles were inflammatory. She said what is unseen by the public is the 60 hours a week teachers work in class and grading and reviewing papers at home.
"We're not the enemy," Dalpe said. "We're the guys out in the trenches making do with what we have to give students a good education."
Maureen Brennan, of Sandpiper Road, said the articles in the local paper didn't have board members' names on them, but the board should repudiate what was said in them.
The board of education is working on a budget plan to present to the town manager, who will include the spending plan in his overall budget proposal to the town council. Board members said they are reviewing proposed reductions and additions to the budget.
Some of Tuesday's speakers said the board seems to be focused on cuts and not on the quality of education.
Brian Garvey, an English teacher at John F. KennedyMiddle School, said the some board members have given the false impression that the Enfield Teachers Association forced its members to give the same answers on a budget survey.
Garvey said the Republican town committee and some members of the board of education are promoting a bunker mentality that will hurt communication between the school system and its teachers.
Robert Tkacz, a former board member and a member of the audit committee, said he has never seen a board member bash teachers. He said the board is trying to come up with an efficient budget and fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities.
Contact Larry Smith at email@example.com