We Demand Anna Fallon's Resignation from the FRSD Board of Education
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Our district has become paralyzed under current Board of Education President Anna Fallon’s leadership due to an apparent lack of impartiality, integrity, honesty, collaboration, and professionalism, as well as a willful disregard for the concerns of FRSD Stakeholders. Staff and parents are being intimidated and repeatedly interrupted by Ms. Fallon when addressing the Board.
Ms. Fallon has a pattern of violating district policy and New Jersey Statute, as evidenced in the information below:
Violated Policy 9100.1, Board of Education Communication with Public, Citizens Address the Board, which requires the superintendent, at the direction of the Board president, to:
1. Respond to inquiries at that time if information is available;
2.Provide a response before the next Board of Education meeting should the matter need further consideration; and
3.Report back to the Board how the matter was addressed or resolved at the next Board of Education meeting.
Ms. Fallon has failed to direct the FRSD Superintendent to comply with the above requirements.
Violated Policy 2262, Civility, which states, in part:
“The Flemington-Raritan Regional School District Board of Education encourages administrators, faculty, staff, students, volunteers, parents, and other community members to participate in maintaining a clear expectation of civil conduct and problem-solving throughout the school district. The Board refuses to condone uncivil conduct on school grounds or at school-sponsored activities, whether by staff, students, parents, volunteers, or other District visitors…
For purposes of this policy, "uncivil conduct" includes the following: …raising one's voice at another individual; repeatedly interrupting another individual who is speaking at an appropriate time and place; … or other similar disruptive conduct.”
Ms. Fallon has failed to maintain civil conduct at Board meetings in that she has, among other things: rolled her eyes in apparent disgust; laughed or snickered at; and interrupted and actively silenced Stakeholders addressing the Board. Furthermore, Ms. Fallon has presented personal opinion as fact as a means to intimidate and silence said speakers. She also employed a township police officer to stand near the Board and face the audience at the April 24, 2017 meeting, which served to exacerbate the level of intimidation against stakeholders speaking up regarding their concerns.
Violated Policy 0142, BOARD MEMBER AUTHORITY, Public Expressions which states:
“Board members are entitled to express themselves publicly on any matter, including issues involving the Board and the school district. Individual Board members cannot, however, express the position of the Board except as expressly authorized, in accordance with Board Policy No. 9120. A Board member shall not represent his/her personal opinion as the position of the Board and shall include in all formal expressions in which his/her Board affiliation is likely to be recognized, such as letters to government officials or newspapers, speeches to organizations, and the like, a statement that the opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Board.”
Ms. Fallon has failed to confine formal expressions in which her Board affiliation was clearly known while at the Coffee with Caulfield on April 17, 2017. It was made clear to the audience that Ms. Fallon is on the Board of Education; she repeatedly expressed her opinion; and also requested that Dr. Caulfield stop speaking on a matter and referred to Dr. Caulfield as “our only employee,” thus further indicating Ms. Fallon’s presence at the meeting was that of a Board member, and not otherwise.
Violated N.J.S.A 18A:12-24.1, Code of Ethics for School Board Members.
Ms. Fallon has failed to “uphold and enforce all laws, rules and regulations of the State Board of Education… Desired changes shall be brought about only through legal and ethical procedures” in that the requirements of the Assistant Superintendent’s contract were not adhered to when the decision to eliminate that position was brought before the Board. [N.J.S.A 18A:12-24 (a)]
Ms. Fallon has failed to “carry out [her] responsibility, not to administer the schools, but… to see that they are well run” by regularly dismissing the concerns and questions raised by Stakeholders, resulting in poor management of FRSD. [N.J.S.A 18A:12-24 (d)]
Ms. Fallon has failed to “provide accurate information and, [has failed to] interpret to the staff the aspirations of the community for its school,” by allowing the Superintendent to present inaccurate and misleading information to the Board; to the public at Board meetings; and essentially refusing to gain insight into the community’s aspirations for its school by continually and willfully disregarding voiced concerns, silencing stakeholders and consistently voting in favor of all items presented to the board by the Superintendent. [N.J.S.A 18A:12-24 (g)]
Ms. Fallon has failed to “vote to appoint the best qualified personnel available after consideration of the recommendation of the chief administrative officer,” by seemingly only taking into consideration the recommendation of the Superintendent and not taking into consideration the recommendation of hiring panels and the Stakeholders. This has led to constant staff movement and changes, resulting in instability in the infrastructure of FRSD. [N.J.S.A 18A:12-24 (h)].
Ms. Fallon has failed to “support and protect school personnel in proper performance of their duties,” in that she allowed Stakeholder claims and concerns to remain uninvestigated; has allowed accusations of intimidation of Stakeholders by the Superintendent to also remain uninvestigated; and has supported and allowed what is believed to be retaliatory personnel changes to occur [N.J.S.A 18A:12-24 (i)]
Ms. Fallon has failed to “act on… complaints at public meetings … after failure of an administrative solution,” by not holding the Superintendent accountable to act in the first place, thereby shirking her responsibility to the Stakeholders to act on said complaints when satisfaction has not come from the Superintendent. This only served to further silence Stakeholders, which has only compounded the problems brought forth in the aforementioned complaints. [N.J.S.A 18A:12-24 (j)]
For these reasons, and others not specifically included at this time, we, the undersigned, as Stakeholders in the Flemington-Raritan School District, call upon Ms. Fallon to resign immediately as both President of the Board of Education and as a member of same. She has lost the ability and insight to lead, and it is in the best interests of our children and staff that she steps down.
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