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Monday, November 29, 2010

Dear Mr. Meyer

Dear Mr. Meyer,
     As a journalist, I recommend that you revisit Journalism 101 and the topic: Sunshine Laws.  As late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." The antics of Watergate made us all sit up and observe the actions of our government.  School districts are the very closest form of government to our hearts as democracy loving Americans.  We directly vote on the appointment of volunteer Board of Education (BOE) members and we directly vote on the School Budget.  That being said, the BOE clearly wants to move away from their connection to the people.  By President Dr. Joan Calkins' own admission,  "the board no longer holds executive sessions in a predetermined location."  Maybe if you read my posting on open meetings law, you would know that executive sessions can only be predetermined under specific circumstances and the board must convene in public before they can move to executive session.  Furthermore, they must meet in public to explain why they are going into executive session.  For example, if they are going into executive session to discuss contract negotiations, they must express that to the public.  That way, John Q Public can rant and rave about how teachers are overpaid, underworked, taxes are too high, or perhaps how administrators have no accountability for their theft of the taxpayer dollar.  The school board clearly is violating open meetings laws.  Mr. Meyer, you've been sitting and watching the school board do this for years.  Why haven't you questioned school board practices?  Why haven't you requested they be more open?  Should you not be the champion of open meeting laws perhaps you need to look in the mirror and question yourself as the editor of the local newspaper.


I would also like to address the "we" you refer to.  Are you using "we" in the royal sense?  My guess is not, so please elaborate on the "we" you speak for?


Lastly, I can guarantee that the every teacher's first priority is the children.  As a retired teacher, I assure you that minute by minute, day by day, year by year, lesson by lesson, grade by grade it's the kids. You, as a graduate of Hamburg High School, should know that.  How many teachers touched your life, encouraged you, made you smile, and taught you something that you still think about today? And then, I ask you to recall how many administrators changed your life as a student (not as and editor, but as a student)?



13 comments:

Ruth said...

Its about time some speaks up about the sun newspaper. its been the puppet of the district for years. hamburg educational ethics, perhaps you should start a blog on ethics in reporting at the sun? my guess is the district buys alot of advertising at the sun. i uprooted my kids and moved to a neighboring district. the teachers were wonderful, but we have a special needs child and the adminstration didnt have a clue....i guess we werent the priveledged people you speak of in the grade fraud posting..is that for real...??? how disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if the last post made it. The board has email addresses at hamburgschools.org. It uses their first intial and last name the same as for the staff and administrators.

Eddy said...

Glad to read this blog. I remember when the school board, the district and the shadie hamburg school foundation hid the missing $1.8 million dollar scandle.

crooked people should forget robbing banks, they can become an adminstrator in hamburg.

Anonymous said...

Dan Meyer's "editorial" (if you want to call it that) was utterly ridiculous. I will never purchase an issue of the sun again after reading that useless, biased trash. My take was that he is blaming teachers for this tape of an executive session. That is a very far fetched "Hollywood" senario. You honestly believe that Hamburg teachers wire tapped the room? That would be pretty sophisticated and probably expensive (remember, Hamburg teachers are the lowest paid in Erie County). No mention of the much more likely senerio (that anyone with a brain in their head knows is true) that a board member with a conscience made the recording.

To continue the foolishness, he goes on to write that the teachers need to "look in the mirror and ask what they are trying to accomplish" and that the teachers "need a reminder of what executive sessions are for." No, I think the board members need those reminders!!! Especially considering what they were caught saying on that recording.

The final insult was reminding the teachers that "the students come first." Teachers don't need to be reminded that the students come first, especially not by a person who is so detached from classroom reality. What does he really know about what teachers do? This is their job. They live and breathe it every day. They spend more time with their students each day than they do with their own families. Hamburg teachers KNOW the students come first. Teachers are the people who put the students first. It is the board of education and the administration (with all of their politics and corruption) who need to be reminded that the students come first.

Anonymous said...

This blog makes me sad to be a hamburg alumni. This is just childish what is going on over high school grades. It is almost a year later, the graduates have moved on to college and should be enjoying college and thinking about their successful futures instead of worry about tenths of points from their senior year of high school. I would hope they don't remember hamburg for this, but instead for the experience they had as a whole. Similarly, is it necessary to drag good local schools for the mud? UB is huge in this community and gives back to the city of Buffalo to no end. Fredonia is a school that turns some great teachers that teach right here in Hamburg. Why should you be so concerned with titles, and being ivy league. People can be successful wherever they choose to go. The college experience is what you make of it, and based on the people from Hamburg, these kids will do just fine. I don't understand why you are still dwelling on something from the past, and dragging these kids names through the mud, as well as the school district in general. I'm proud to be a Hamburg grad, and I really hope that those involved aren't stuck dwelling on the past instead of enjoying the rest of their lives.

An honorable proposal said...

You should be sad to be a Hamburg Alumnus. Forgetting grade fraud is a difficult thing to do. I worked EXTREMELY hard and was excluded from the Top Ten...though I was close. I live with the thought that if I just worked a little harder I could have been in the top ten. I wanted to be in the top ten, and I missed it within 10ths of points. I just wonder, if these "kids" will actually be just fine. Will they be fine in a world that only awards RESULTS, not complaints!!!! Every Hamburg Alumnus should be outraged, not forgiving. These students should volunteer to have their permanent records changed to reflect the grades they did earn in the class. It would make them honest. And then, perhaps they could move on with a presence of mind. The class of 2010 can be made whole, and community can be repaired from this unethical act.

Anonymous said...

Why do appearances matter so much to people? Who cares what your class rank is? I worked my butt off throughout high school, but I didn't make it into the Top 10. My grades were maybe a point or two below theirs. Do I hold any sort of grudge against them? No! Why should I? The grades I earned were enough to get me into the college of my choice. Titles simply do not matter. If you happen to earn it, fine. Keep it. But if you just missed it by a point or two, oh well. Enjoy the fact that you still passed high school with remarkably high grades and a good student record.

Veggieburger said...

Dan Meyer's job as Editor at "The Sun" is advertised in the 12/23 edition.

Anonymous said...

Meyer is going to work for a politician. Don Ogivle is heading up the search committee to find a new replacement for Mr. Meyer at the Sun. The committee will meet in secret and will reflect members of the community, who will be secretly chosen, and report their selection in secret to Mr Ogilve who will secretly review the remarks of the committee and make a decision for a new editor. Sound familiar?

Antonie T said...

Heard Meyer is going to work for newly elected State Senator Grisanti

Frankie R said...

Meyer is leaving THE SUN for a job with Mark Grisanti, the guy who beat Antoine Thompson. We wish him well. Wonder who will be his replacement?

Veggieburger said...

We'll miss Dan M. at The Sun. He has done a nice job working for a small town publication attempting to make the insignicance of the Hamburg area seem worthy of notice on occasion. I'm sure his replacement could be no more beholden to the HSD than he was.

Anonymous said...

The Sun must have a Hamburg Central School Editor or a policy about what gets in their paper about the District.