• Amity Regional District #5 School: A Year In Review

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    At a BOE meeting held on June 13, 2022, many parents expressed their disappointment with the current administration regarding a protest which was held in the high school on April 6th at 8:30 a.m. where we addressed the violation of two school policies: 5131 C which states: Serious Disruption of the Educational Process means any conduct that markedly interrupts or severely impedes the day-to-day operation of a school. And 2131 B which states: The Board of Education holds the superintendent responsible for carrying out its policies within established guidelines and for keeping it informed about school operations. Despite requests for taking disciplinary action towards the superintendent, the board chose not to hold the superintendent responsible for these two violations of school policy.

    At a BOE meeting on September 12, 2022, another parent and I read excerpts from two pornographic books in the library and addressed the board with 87 others just like them. According to the Department of Justice, it is illegal to expose children to books, videos or anything that contains pornographic material. You’ve broken the law, and to date, we do not have any report on what you’ve done about these books.

    On October 24, 2022, Dr. LaSalle gave an unclear presentation regarding School Climate. Dr. LaSalle, made a comment how they often try to follow up by interviewing students. Then she stated that no students volunteered to be interviewed when asked. She made a comment about that being unusual. I think this spoke volumes about how students didn’t want to participate, and perhaps that calls into question the reliability and validity of her results.

    Also in that meeting at exactly 1:34:29, Mr. Davis stated “DEI and CRT are not the same.” When in fact Critical Race Theory hides behind the guise of DEI. There were 12 parents/taxpayers and 2 former students of Amity that spoke against Dr. LaSalle’s presentation and the current DEI curriculum at the school. Chris Browe respectfully addressed superintendent by asking her “How do we make it make sense? I would like some concrete examples of this is the problem and this is the proposed solution and a couple of those backed up.” He also stated “Curriculum comes through the Board.” Did you ever receive that concrete evidence? What has been done in the curriculum to change the concerns of this community?

    At BOE meeting on May 8, 2023, you, Mr. Davis, broke my Constitutional rights by asking me to sit down during my speech. I never addressed the Board calling any of you liars, you, Mr. Davis, were putting words in my mouth. What I did say is you have caused an unnecessary divide between parents because you are not willing to tell the truth about what is really behind DEI. You violated YOUR own BOE policy 1312 B which states I have the right to speak freely – sections 4 & 5 – no law shall ever be passed to curtail or restrain the liberty of speech.

    Over 20 teachers have left the school this past year, and enrollment as well as rankings continue to decline. We as parents and taxpayers have been at every BOE meeting this past year, and the year before, expressing our concerns, while board members slouch in their chairs with heads down not even having the common decency to look at a speaker when being addressed, the superintendent on her phone texting faculty in the room, and most all of you showing utter apathy is confirmation for us perhaps we made bad decisions in putting you in those seats. Parents/Taxpayers should be involved in what this Board does. It's what community is about and you should welcome conversations not avoid them.

    I would say your final report card leaves much to be desired.

    Serious changes need to happen next year.

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    Michele Tenney

    Michele Tenney is a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutritionist & Wellness Coach with over 16 years of experience. She is a member of the Orange Board of Health and is an active member in her community. She is a wife and mother of three spectacular sons and a grandmother of 2 (+ 1 due in September)

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