To the Editor:
The Bayonne Board of Education owes a public apology to former Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Patricia L. McGeehan, Ed.D. and Business Administrator Leo Smith.
On behalf of World War I Historical Joyce-Herbert V.F.W. Post 226, chartered on October 8, 1919, I would like to express our support for Dr. Patricia L. McGeehan and Business Administrator Leo Smith. Without Dr. McGeehan’s support to our Veterans Historical Museum Educational Lecture Tour Program, it would not be here today and in our public school curriculum. Thousands of students, Girl and Boy Scouts, veterans, community members, non-profits, and groups from all over New Jersey have visited.
In our country, we have a constitutional right to due process before we are condemned for a wrongdoing. We are innocent until proven guilty. We do not make false allegations and humiliate and embarrass innocent people without thoroughly investigating the facts. Many Board of Education Trustees feel that they are above the law and don’t care about defaming others’ reputations. These board members are liable for these wrongdoings. Each of these trustees, except for one, is guilty and must be held accountable to our youth, our community, to Dr. McGeehan, Leo Smith, and their families and friends.
At the November 30, 2017, Board of Education meeting, the State Auditor, said that Dr. McGeehan and Leo Smith informed the board that something was wrong. This information fell on deaf ears. The Board was more interested in getting rid of the superintendent and not interested in getting down to the truth. It was a witch hunt. It is clear that many trustees had their own agenda.
People should remember that when you are a leader, you will have supporters, non-supporters, and haters. Dr. McGeehan and Leo Smith go above and beyond all possible means to enhance our children’s education. I see nothing but greatness in our Bayonne public schools. These false allegations were unconscionable and should never have been tolerated.
There was no reason for the layoffs of teachers and employees. We have good teachers in Bayonne and no need to seek teachers outside our community. Just look at our children’s exemplary accomplishments in Bayonne’s schools. Our students excel in every area. This is attributable to our former School Superintendent Dr. Patricia L. McGeehan and has been noted throughout the state of New Jersey.
God bless Dr. Patricia L. McGeehan and Leo Smith. I know that people will comment against what is written here. But that is what we veterans fought for – our Freedom of Speech.
The Bayonne Board of Education held summer meetings while our students and teachers were away. The Board of Education said it wanted to go in a different direction. It certainly went in a wrongful direction, which cannot be ignored. Dr. McGeehan and Leo Smith are due an apology from the board and the politicians who allowed this wrongdoing to occur. These board members and politicians should be ashamed of how they treated Dr. McGeehan and Leo Smith.
With that, I would just like to say, shame on you board members as well as the politicians who permitted this atrocity. You know that you owe Dr. McGeehan and Leo Smith a public apology. You are guilty for blaming Dr. McGeehan and Leo Smith; without due process and you are accountable for your own actions in condemning Dr. McGeehan and Leo Smith wrongfully without any regard that they have rights protected under the Constitution of the United States of America.
Dr. McGeehan proudly served our school district for 48 years without ever asking for anything in return. Dr. McGeehan truly is a champion! Dr. McGeehan made our school system a success and a great public school. There is no one who has given as much as anyone humanly possible could give to our students and our community than Dr. McGeehan.
GLEN J. FLORA
Joyce-Herbert V.F. W.