Conduct Unbecoming of a School District
The Reader’s Forum, “Task Force on Inclusivity Runs Counter to its Mission”, by Andrew Zengin in your December 18 issue is nothing less than shocking. Rye residents of good faith, including high school students such as Andrew, will inevitably have a variety of ideas as to how our schools and our society can best address the vexing problems of racism. But it is inexcusable for School Superintendent Byrne to present young Andrew, in his role on the Task Force, with a bill of particulars reminiscent of a Moscow show trial. Indeed, language such as “on or about October 5, 2020” summons an image of a criminal indictment.
Whatever Andrew’s disagreements with his fellow committee members, it was incumbent on the Superintendent to encourage a constructive dialogue and adopt a nurturing tone toward a student. “J’Accuse” simply will not do. In its review of curriculum, the schools should consider adding Arthur Koestler’s classic “Darkness at Noon”, his account of Stalinist-era arrests and trials. “They will shoot me,” reflects the protagonist, Rubashov. “My motives will be of no interest to them.”
This unfortunate incident should figure in any performance review our School Board conducts of Dr. Byrne.
- Howard Husock