The Sag Harbor Board of Education did what they had to do on Tuesday night. They listened to a community who had been screaming for them to do so. They listened to parents and teachers and even to a student. They did on Tuesday what they chose not to do two weeks ago. When you give the public the chance to speak, more times than not, they do so in a civil way. When you attempt to silence the public they feel they must scream in order to be heard. That does not make them a mob, rather it makes them an impassioned constituency that feels excluded and ignored.
We thank you, board of education, for opening you ears; we only wish you had opened your mouth a little more. How many times have we seen politicians admonished for not admitting their mistakes? And then, how many times have we seen them embraced after doing the opposite, for saying they indeed did make a mistake? Ultimately they are forgiven for it and their electorate’s faith is restored in the process. Why, we wonder, did the opening remarks at Tuesday’s meeting not give the community reason to have their faith in you restored?
We must think that you indeed do want the community to forgive you, that you hope the community can put your actions of the last three weeks, in the past and work with you and the new superintendent to move this school district forward. Dr. Gratto certainly wants to move forward. We simply cannot understand why you as a board did not own your actions, with the hope of doing the same.