News 12 footage here. Asserting “we as a group have agreed that we will no longer regularly attend Board of Education meetings until such time as Ms. Pereira resigns her position,” several Board of Education members including Chairman Dennis Bradley announced on Monday they will boycott regular school board meetings until Maria Pereira leaves, charging dysfunction on the board and “harassment” by Pereira who on Monday filed a lawsuit in Superior Court challenging Mayor Joe Ganim’s appointment of Annette Segarra-Negron to fill the vacancy of Dave Hennessey. Pereira says she’s not resigning.
Bradley kicked out this news release Monday afternoon announcing the cancellation of a school board meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Geraldine Johnson School.
Bridgeport Board of Education Chairman Dennis Bradley today announced that tonight’s scheduled Board of Education Meeting has been cancelled due to a lack of quorum of board members present for the meeting. A number of Board of Education members including Chairman Bradley and members Joe Larcheveque, Annette Segarra-Negron and Kevin McSpirit are refusing to convene any further board meetings until BOE member Maria Pereira resigns, citing recent dysfunction on the board and harassment by Pereira against other board members, Board of Education staff, and the interim Superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools.
Chairman Bradley issued the following statement explaining his decision to cancel the meeting: “On the Bridgeport Board of Education we recognize the myriad challenges faced by the Bridgeport School District. We believe that our Interim Superintendent, Fran Rabinowitz is the one best placed to continue to meet those challenges until such time that she is replaced by a new permanent Superintendent–a process which has commenced. As board members we do not and will not always agree with the positions and policies proposed by Ms. Rabinowitz; however, we strongly believe she should always be treated with fairness and due respect. This same standard should apply to anyone that sits on the Bridgeport Board of Education or any other staff member who works for the betterment of the 21,000 students in our school system.
Board of Education meetings and Board correspondence should also be conducted with civility and personal respect. At present, this is not the case. Additionally, our Interim Superintendent should not be under harassment nor threatened with Board reprimands. These actions, as well as various forms of insults and bullying during board meetings, are initiated primarily by one Board member, Ms. Maria Pereira. Ms. Pereira’s actions are distracting to the Interim Superintendent and the Board as a whole as we try to accomplish the very difficult and demanding task of running one of the poorest and most challenged districts in the state of Connecticut. The lack of decorum on the Bridgeport Board of Education furthermore creates an impression of dysfunction in our school district, an impression that can potentially jeopardize much-needed funding and the attraction of permanent Superintendent candidates.
This mode of conducting business can no longer continue. As such, we as a group have agreed that we will no longer regularly attend Board of Education meetings until such time as Ms. Pereira resigns her position. We understand that the lack of a quorum at meetings will delay many important actions such as the search for a permanent Superintendent; however, we believe in order to make those decisions the Board at very least should be functional. The day-to-day business of the School District, such as children attending class, teachers and staff being hired and placed, and new construction projects will continue unabated. We all stand ready to resume regular meeting attendance immediately upon confirmation of Ms. Pereira’s resignation.”