There has been a lot of controversy recently at Greenwich public schools, so we thought we'd reach out to newly-minted Greenwich BOE Chairman Joe Kelly and ask him a few questions on the issues causing outrage in the town. He agreed to speak without hesitation.
ON CRT - Kelly reiterated statements from Greenwich education officials saying that 'CRT is not taught in Greenwich public schools.' However, he allowed for the fact that certain teachers may be teaching 'reverse racism' as he described it. "I'm as white as they come, my family is from Ireland. Teaching that a certain group of people are bad simply because of their skin color is not okay and not acceptable, such as the concept of 'white privilege'."
Kelly suggested he will continue conversations with other BOE members and come up with a policy on how to handle these situations when they come up; ie, when teachers are found teaching CRT concepts. "We need to draft a policy", he declared.
Pornography in School Libraries - Kelly said that somehow kids should be taught 'the birds and the bees'. However, obscenity, and pornography should not be available to kids."
"I am going to personally visit these libraries and see for myself what is there. I will report back to my fellow BOE members and we will make some decisions together."
Transgender in School Locker rooms - Kelly approached the issue from his personal life experience as a coach. "Muscular individuals who transition to a woman should not be playing violent sports against girls, who are physically weaker," he commented. "It is a physical danger to our girls."
Kelly did not state a position on transgenders being allowed in opposite sex bathrooms. "I have to speak again to our board members and come up with a policy. It is a confusing issue. Perhaps we move towards individual bathroom stalls where the issue goes away. I need to do more research."
On A Deal With Democrats To Get Elected - When asked if he made a 'deal' with Democrats to get elected BOE Chairman, as has been reported elsewhere, Kelly admitted 'compromises have to be made'.
Without specifying certain issues, Kelly declared that with a 4-4 board, nothing will get done for the town, so yes, I have spoken to them and we made compromises, which is how it should work. No one was forced to vote a certain way. We have been a collegial group in the past and we will continue to be for Greenwich."