Letter to the Editor: Support of Cogan, Shappell and Von Achen

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parsippany focusDear Editor:

As we are all aware, the November 8 elections have the potential to bring unprecedented changes to our great nation. And as much as the congressional midterms are important, we must remember that change also begins on the local level. This year, the Parsippany – Troy Hills Board of Education election is at its’ proverbial “fork in the road.”

This letter is in support of Alison Cogan, Michelle Shappell and Kendra Von Achen. Alison and Kendra are current board members and Michelle would be a new but welcomed member. What is at stake is so important it could potentially alter the direction of the entire school district.

Parsippany has an amazing school system. Yes, it is large, but it has been well managed by the current administration and our current Board of Education. As the political and cultural landscape of our country is shifting, the tremors are beginning to create fissures that are exposing a quiet but quickly moving wave of anti-progressive thinking. It is bubbling to surface in the form of candidates and existing board members, who are suggesting banning books, limiting curriculum, taking away from professional teachers the ability to choose and monitor curriculum while ignoring the current diversity and needs of our community’s youth.

Candidates Choffo, Ferise and Raia are backed by “Mom’s for Liberty,” a newly formed radical group whose purpose is to upend school boards. They say out loud they are against “progressivism in schools.” Let’s define that word. Progressivism means: Support or advocacy for social reform, to advance the human condition with science, technology, and economic and social organization. It’s for the good of ALL. If you oppose it, the opposite is Regressive, which means to get less developed and return to an older state. In the recent debate, one of these candidates stated they were against progressive authors, who not only bring diversity to our schools, but an understanding of it. You can’t be for AND against diversity and inclusion at the same time.

If you vote for Choffo, Raia and Farise, you are choosing to take the district backward, not forward. Please vote for ALISON COGAN, MICHELLE SHAPPELL AND KENDRA VON ACHEN, rows 4 – 5 – 6 on your November 8th ballot. Let’s not go backward, let’s make a commitment to our students to move forward.

Laura McCluskey
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
Retired teacher from the Parsippany – Troy Hills School District