Letter to the Editor: Misinformation and Lies in the Parsippany BOE Race

parsippany focus

parsippany focusDear Editor:

I am writing this letter to support the only candidates – Andy Choffo, Jack Raia, and Yvonne Ferise – who are listening to the public and fighting for policies that will benefit the children of Parsippany – and to address the misinformation spewed forth by the Cogan, Von Achen, and Shappell campaign.

Censorship:  Andy Choffo has for the past two years asked the district administration to enhance literary choices for children in high school and middle school. He has never advocated banning books. He has repeatedly asked that there be more diversity of the authors of the district administration imposed limited selection of books that our children can choose from. Never asking that these books be banned, he has asked for a counterpoint to books like The New Jim Crow, White Fragility, Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II, and Things That Make White People Uncomfortable. Mr. Choffo and his running mates are only asking that our children have the widest variety of books available so that they can form holistic opinions. Cogan and Von Achen have limited what our children have access to by never questioning what students are reading. Please refer to the Board of Education Meeting Minutes of July 29, 2020, page 19, to read Mr. Choffo’s question on books. (Click here to read).

Parental Rights:  An amazing thing happened during the dark days of Covid in 2020 and 2021. Students were forced to learn from home. Parents witnessed first-hand what their children were being taught and were concerned. Then parents started coming to Board of Education meetings and questioning the school administration and Board of Ed Members because they had serious concerns about the direction school districts were going. Parents were labeled “domestic terrorists” by some for simply asking questions. The result was a grassroots effort by parents to get involved and run for their local Boards of Education. And they did by the thousands! Cogan, Von Achen, and Shappell have tried to label Moms for Liberty as an extremist organization. Andy, Jack, and Yvonne proudly support parental rights and accept the endorsement of Moms for Liberty. This organization was formed by former school board members fighting for parental rights. Click here to visit their website to learn more.

Learning Loss:  Cogan, Von Achen, and Shappell appear to be focused on things that will not benefit the academic achievement of our students. Alison Cogan even said at the PTA candidate’s debate that the learning loss was not that bad! The fact is that there has been significant learning loss over the past two years. Our children have fallen behind and need Board of Education members who will set policies to get them caught up, instead of spending $10,000’s of taxpayer dollars on a fruitless partnership with the University of Virginia as Cogan and Von Achen have done. See what your children have not been learning by clicking here.

Andy Choffo, Jack Raia, and Yvonne Ferise are concerned about the students of Parsippany. That is the only reason they are running for a seat on the Board of Education. They are the best-qualified candidates to guide our school district through these troubled waters.

Margo Peterson