Holmdel School Board President Says 'Bullying' Allegations Are False
In a statement issued today, Board President Barbara Garrity responds to comments made at Wednesday's Board of Education meeting by two of its members.
Recently, two members of the Holmdel School Board, Ana Vander Woude and Dennis Pavlik, issued public statements claiming that they had been “bullied” when they raised a “serious” issue involving school personnel in October. They claimed the school board, school attorney, and school administration attempted to silence them with threats of potential legal action and ethics violation charges.
These claims are completely false. No one is deliberately hiding anything. They were never “silenced.” They know there are rules involving personnel matters that require confidentiality. They also know the board responded rapidly to the issue they raised, and it has been thoroughly investigated to the satisfaction of the majority of the board’s members. I am particularly disappointed that they chose to question the integrity of the entire board by exaggerating the scale of this incident and making insinuations relating to the recent controversies involving Penn State and Brookdale.
Ms. Vander Woude and Mr. Pavlik also know that all school board members must follow specific rules set by the state that dictate their conduct when working with school administrators. They were, in fact, not mindful of proper procedures and protocol, which exposed them to legal liabilities and ethics charges. And they chose to ignore advice from our legal counsel that the approach they chose to take could lead to potential exposure.
Their claims that they were bullied and intimidated are, in my opinion, a smokescreen designed to avoid the consequences of their actions. The entire story has yet to be told, and I would ask the community for patience involving a sensitive personnel matter before more details can be shared publicly.