Petition for Board of Education Member Dan Eller to Resign in Light of Racist Actions

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On June 29th, 2020, photos of Northern Valley Regional High School (NVRHS) Board of Education member Dan Eller revealed that he wore blackface when he was in high school. Dan Eller is a graduate of the Northern Valley Old Tappan High School (NVOT) class of 2008 and was elected to the NVRHS Board of Education in 2016. These photos were discovered on Facebook and sent to local officials and media outlets by an anonymous source.

We as a community should be extremely disappointed in Eller’s actions, his inadequate apology, and our community’s lack of response to this revelation. Our society should not allow actions like this to go unpunished. Based on his actions, Eller is clearly unfit to remain in his current post on the NVRHS Board of Education, especially considering his past history as an employee under Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino, who was forced to resign in 2018 over racist and homophobic comments. 

Our community should be committed to strengthening and diversifying the curriculum in the Northern Valley school district. Eller’s racist actions represent a failure of our education system as a whole. Eller is an NVOT graduate, and these photos are evidence that our school system failed to educate him on racism. NVRHS is evidently not equipped nor committed to tackling racism. The Board of Education sets the agenda for the entire school system and, based on his actions, allowing Eller to keep his seat would be a disservice to the entire NVRHS student body. We believe he is incapable of recognizing the systemic changes that are necessary for our education system to prevent incidents like his own from occurring. 

Given his history, we feel that Eller does not represent our community and is not the right person to be leading our school system. We hope the Board of Education will take action to eradicate racism from our community in order to make it a more tolerant, accepting, and equitable environment for everyone. 

In the meantime, we demand his immediate resignation from the Board of Education and ask all local officials to condemn Eller’s actions as well. 

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