School Board Fight: “Piranha” Versus “Napoleon”

School board member Maria Pereira, the self-styled piranha of city politics, put her cell phone camera to work Wednesday night capturing a city police officer stationed surreptitiously outside a Personnel Committee meeting of the Board of Education whose members have engaged in some testy exchanges in recent weeks over a variety of issues.

Be it unrestrained Pereira versus restrained board Chair John Weldon whom she describes as “Napoleon” or Pereira versus hulking Chris Taylor, the tensions prompted Weldon to enlist city police officers to shadow meetings, in case things get out of hand. Ah, the life of an elected board for no pay.

The 9-member school board is down one member following the recent resignation of State Senator Dennis Bradley. Weldon announced a process to replace him within a few weeks, otherwise Mayor Joe Ganim will fill vacancy.

Pereira questions the necessity for police presence. In the sequence that follows: three videos taken by Pereira, who has a way of getting under skin, which elicit a snarky F bomb (Go Fund Yourself) from Weldon, although Pereira asserts it’s the other F bomb.

Pereira writes on her Facebook page:

At last night’s Board of Education meeting I found Chair John Weldon had requested a BPD officer be hidden across the hall in the Human Resources office.

This officer did not step one foot into the hallway or the meeting room for a single second as he was directed to hide. He sat in this office for 4.5 hours on his cellphone.

Our BPD overtime budget was blown by $2.6 million dollars last year, our teachers have no paper art supplies, and more, yet the best use of our taxpayer dollars is to hide a BPD police officer in a cozy, little office.

After Bridgeport Board of Education Chair, John Weldon, initially denied requesting a BPD officer attend last night’s Personnel Committee meeting last night, he finally admitted that since the “incident” on January 28th, where Christopher Taylor harassed and assaulted me, he has had the police officers attending any meeting he chairs, but not in the “open.” John Weldon has been hiding police officers in nearby rooms at our meetings. I am not kidding!

We are the most underfunded school district in CT. I asked him who is paying for these officers. He states he didn’t know. I asked who has been requesting the presence of the police offers. He blamed Dr. Johnson.

Here is Chair John Weldon adjourning last night’s Personnel Committee. As he is leaving I notify him we have started organizing a picket, which will be held in front of his home.

Mr. Weldon responded with “Go FUCK yourself” as he departs the room. Tsk. Tsk.

This behavior is unbecoming of the Chair of the Bridgeport Board of Education. I believe the new Censure Policy passed in his illegal bylaws should be applied to him!

Statement from Weldon:

To place a little clarity on the assertions of Ms. Pereira, I have had police officers at every meeting I’ve chaired since the January incident involving her and Mr. Taylor. Officer presence has not been overt, but has been kept discreet so as to not cause undue concern with the public. This has been done out of an abundance of concern for the safety of Board member, as well as the general public that attends many of our meetings.

To be clear, Ms. Pereira’s initial question was if I had requested police presence because of her, to which I replied “No.” Her subsequent question was if I had been the one who requested him, to which I responded, “Yes,” followed by the explanation of safety concerns after her incident with Mr. Taylor. Last, her assertion that I said “Go F%#@ yourself” is wrong. I would never say such a thing. I did tell her to go fund herself, a sarcastic barb at her $12,000 GoFundMe effort to sue the Board, which seems to have plateaued at $1,765:

Listen to what Weldon says. Which F word is it?



  1. That poor officer,having to get caught up in this circus.Time for a state takeover,obviously these people can’t get along,and our kids pay the price.Never seen anything like this.

    1. Harvey,

      What do you pay in annual taxes?

      We don’t have money for our over 20,000 students, Mayor Ganim raised taxes by 33%, we have already had 5 murders, many shootings and stabbings, drug-dealing, gang-violence, prostitution, and more running rampant in Bridgeport. The BPD overspent its over-time budget by $2.6 million dollars, yet the best use of a BPD officer on a Wednesday night is to hide in an warm, toasty, office in the H.R. department. This very nice officer never as so much stepped into the hallway. He never once stepped into the meeting room.

      The next time I attend a BOE meeting I better check behind any furniture and pull back any tablecloths to see if any of Bridgeport’s finest is hiding under a table or something.

      Our amazing teachers and staff don’t have paper, ink, art supplies, classroom books, etc. but this is what taxpayer funds should be spent on. Really???

  2. Oh, Harvey, take a deep breathe.

    I arrived really early for the 6:00 p.m. Personnel Meeting and was in the H.R. office when this police officer entered the office at approximately 6:15 p.m. He asked the H.R. Director, “are you Mr. Chester?’ Mr. Chester looked nervous and said “yes.” The officer stated” your supposed to set me up.” Mr. Chester didn’t say “I don’t know what you are referring to” or “set you up for what.?’ He escorted the officer over to someone’s small office and had him sit down behind the desk at the computer.

    Mr. Chester re-approached me and I said, ” Why is a BPD officer in H.R. after 5:00 p.m. sitting in an office in H.R. at someone’s desk?’ Mr. Chester responded “I don’t know.” I responded with “don’t you think you should ask him?” Mr. Chester went into the office and they spoke briefly. He returned to me and stated “He is here at the request of Mr. Weldon.” Let me be clear, I knew Frank Chester was being untruthful.

    Minutes later Mr. Weldon arrived and I asked him why a police officer was sitting across the hall in H.R. Mr. Weldon said he did not know. I responded “the officer just stated he was here at your request.” He became flustered and tried to move on.

    Minutes later I got him on video admitting that since January 28, 2019, when Christ Taylor assaulted me, Mr. Weldon has had police officers at any meeting he has chaired, but not in the “open.” They have not been at any committee meetings that others chair, just his. I asked who is paying for this? He responded ” I don’t know.”

    I asked on whose authority has BPD been requested to attend our meetings. He blamed Dr. Johnson because that is who John Weldon is.

    I spent the remainder of night on my phone organizing my supporters to hold a picket outside John Weldon’s home. After he adjourned the meeting and he was exiting Room 305, I shared the information about the picket. That is when the prim and proper John Weldon told me to “go fuck myself.” Now, that wasn’t very chairman like. I think his new “censure policy” should be applied to himself, Chris Taylor for harassing and assaulting me on school grounds, and for Sybill Allen who assaulted JoAnn Kennedy for simply videotaping John Weldon, Chris Taylor, Sybil Allen, Jessica Martinez and Hernan Illingworth in the lobby of 45 Lyon Terrace which is perfectly legal.

    If assaulting colleagues, members of the community, and calling your colleague foul names isn’t a basis for “censure,” what is?

  3. Maria,I agree that having an officer is a waste of OT $,my point is that the fact that Mr Weldon feels the need to request an officer be present in the first place.Obviously,because of the arguing,threatening ,name calling etc etc that has gone on in previous meetings,he asked for an officer.Maria,you seem to revel in all this drama,too each his own I guess.My point is,all this drama/name calling etc has reached a point now that it can’t continue like this.

    1. Harvey, please don’t be naive. John Weldon is unsettled and intimidated by me. Why do you think police officers are only present when he is chairing the meeting? If he was truly concerned about the safety of board members and the public, wouldn’t they have been present at every meeting since January 28, 2019? Why has he been hiding them in cubicles and offices instead of having them in the meeting room?

      Please stop being gullible and naive.

  4. In response to Mr. Weldon’s absurd statement, isn’t the point of a police presence to serve as a deterrent to those who may behave in an unacceptable manner. If you go to an athletic event, concert, etc., are the officers hiding or are they quite visible? As far as his request for a police presence out-of-concern for the safety of board members and the public, why have they only been requested at the meetings he has chaired? Is safety only paramount at his meetings? What about all the committee meetings chaired by other members of the BOE?

    Mr. Weldon was there the night Chris Taylor assaulted me, he has without question seen the video. Has Mr. Weldon called a meeting to censure Chris Taylor? Well, of course not. Chris Taylor is his RINO pal.

    Mr. Weldon, Chris Taylor, Hernan Illingworth, Jessica Martinez, and Ezequiel Santiago’s lover, Paula Romero were standing right there when Sybil Allen assaulted JoAnn Kennedy. The video has been all over Facebook. Did any of them intervene or say one word. You could hear Hernan Illingworth laughing as he walked away. Has Mr. Weldon called a meeting to censure Sybil Allen? Well, of course not. Sybill Allen is Mario Testa’s girl and does exactly what Mario Testa tells her to do.

    If anyone believes for one second that John Weldon stated “Go fund yourself,” and not “Go fuck yourself” I have a Congress Street Bridge I would like to sell you. That includes you, Lennie.

    I was within three feet of him when he said it and he absolutely said “Go fuck yourself.’

    Mr. Weldon, not everyone utilizes social media sites to donate. I already have $5,000 when you include cash and check contributions. I have been very busy creating the timeline and labeling all the exhibits which is very time consuming.

      1. No, he wasn’t, Lisa. As Weldon is turning the corner to walk past me out the door of Room 305, I shifted,and the camera lost him for a couple of seconds. While he was approaching the location where the camera was focused, he had an evil, seething grin on his face. He was livid.

        He absolutely said “Go fuck yourself.”

    1. Hey Joel ,a taste of your own medicine. Go STFU! You’ve been hiding under a rock for months and months and now you are making a spectacular return to OIB. WHY? WHY? WHY?

    2. I believe the person who was there knows what they heard. Maria Pereira totally got to him and he lost it, now he’s trying to cover his ass. Maria should get the video analyzed so that there will be no doubt of the truth. I’ve never found Maria Pereira to lie. She’s honest to a fault and wears her heart on her sleeve. I don’t always agree with her, but one things for sure The Portuguese Pirhana Is effective, They come for her and they’ve never brought her down.

      1. You can’t listen and make your own mind? The sound of the letter ‘c’ and ‘k’ in “fuck” is distinguishing when compared with ‘u’ and ‘d’ in “fund”.

      1. Joel, Not only do you need a hearing aid, but a good bath as well. Anyone who chops his finger off needs (should have) a psychological evaluation. Especially working at the BPD.

        1. Try listening again. Before you do, clean the wax out of your ears ( A dozen Q-tips should do). When done, pinch your nose (hope that’s clean); press your big lips tightly together and blow until you feel and hear your ears pop. You shall then hear, “Go fund yourself.” If you don’t hear it, then go and finger yourself.

          1. Maria Pereira, Advanced Hearing Therapy’s advice is based on personal experience.

  5. This is all rather colorful and somewhat amusing. At the end of the day the BOE’s work, advancing the needs of Bridgeport’s public school children, is not being done.

      1. Joel, one things for sure Maria Pereira is effective and efficient. Once you mess with her you’re done. You will never have a good night sleep😂😉

  6. I will say this . I was present at the meeting where Weldon and Company imposed new rules. That will be determined by the judicial system of The State of Connecticut. The performance of Weldon,Martinez,Allen,Taylor,Illingsworth and Bradley(and whatever whore will replace him) was one of the most disgusting moments of Bridgeport Governance. Yet,we have people who come here on OIB who are ooooh-sooo polite and then there are many-TOO MANY-who will not even speak up. THIS INCLUDES CITY COUNCIL PEOPLE. Yes,I was at that infamous special meeting put together by Weldo and whomever he is taking directions from. Yes..I was one of the first who yelled SHAME.. SHAME.. SHAME on Weldon, Martinez,Taylor,Illingsworth, Allen, Bradley and the replacement whore).

    1. Tell’ em why you mad. BRIDGEPORT the Circus City. Nothing will ever change, take a good look at the leaders of this City, and the residents are to stupid to realize it. This coming November vote them all out. Have them pack up their Freakin tent and go else where.

      1. Advanced Therapy. Were you at the meeting where TestaGanim used Weldon and the stooges to change bylaws of the BOE. It was all preplanned well in advance. SHAME on the SHAMEFUL SIX.

  7. Anyone moving to or living in Bridgeport that reads or watches these videos would rather not have their children in the public school system. Watching the videos encourages parents to enroll their child in private school or a charter school and i am not in favor of charter schools.

  8. I am sitting outside of Room 305 right now for a second night of Personnel Meetings.

    There are now TWO BPD officers hiding across the hall in a little office in H.R.

    Once again, we have had 5 murders, many shootings and stabbings, tons of gang activity, drug dealing, prostitution and more, yet these two police officers are hiding in a H.R. office across the hall from Room 305.

    There is not a single member of the public here. Not one. There are only four school board members, the transcriber and the Director of H.R.

    What a waste of tax payer dollars.

  9. Convinced the board just gets together to argue and get under each others skin.I could only imagine what will happen tonight.Lots of finger pointing,threats,yelling etc etc..

  10. Glad I’m moving out Bridgeport in a couple to the valley! I dont want my tax money going to the city that does nothing. Happy I dont have kids that have to be in the bpt school system. So much drama

  11. It is actually very quiet here. You could hear a pin drop.

    Both BPD officers have now closed their door to their secret little hiding place.

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.:(

  12. *** Once again, drama takes precedence over the BOE-agenda for the night to, questions, video’s, insult’s, who’s paying who, what the rules state but yet are never followed, whom said what, then did this & on & on & on! It just never ends, & even if there’s a “message to the madness” concerning a matter, it never seems to get answered which just leads to more negative behavior by what should be adults that are suppose to be running a BOE-meeting. But in the minds of a few, its always someone else’s fault & then the past, present & future finger-pointing starts, no? But then again what do I know since you really have to be either @ the circus side-show or be part of it to really understand what’s really happening? *** How much longer will the students, parents, Bpt. School’s Admin; the Mayor’s office, tax-payers of Bpt. and the State of Ct. Dept of Education allow this negative, do nothing side-show of a board, get away with these continuous rants of sheer foolishness that is the laughing stock of Ct. , local news & OIB. ***

    1. You know what I find absurd, besides your idiotic asterisks? It has been decades since Connexticut could be abbreviated as “Ct.” Connecticut, and every other state, moved to caps only abbreviations decades ago.

      That’s a good question. What does Mojo know about public education, the BPS, and the BOE? Nothing would appear to be the appropriate answer.

      1. *** You spelled Ct. wrong, & instead of blogging why your always so dramatic when someone does not agree with you, you turn around & talk about asterisk’s, abb’s. & everything else under the sun. Why are you always playing the “victim” in any situation concerning the BOE or politics, etc.. ! You have anger management problems, low self esteem, and @ times some narcissistic traits. Let me tell you a secret, your not always right, so get over it ! Best thing you can do for education is resign from the BOE. ***

        1. Listen, Mojo. There is a difference between a typo. Your “Ct” wasn’t a typo because you wrote “Ct” repeatedly.
          But since you’ve gone there …
          -You posted “your” instead of “you’re.”
          – There should not be an apostrophe with ‘asterisks”
          – If “abb’s” is an abbreviation for abbreviation, the correct abbreviation is “abbr.”
          – When you start a sentence with “why” it should be punctuated with a question mark not an exclamation point.
          – You have never met me, yet you have diagnosed me with all kinds of problems. I think most people would sa

          1. Sorry! … would say I have high self-esteem. It’s rather difficult to run for office, put yourself out there, stand up to corruption and more with low self-esteem.

            – Oops! You wrote your instead of you’re again.

            – I would strongly disagree with your comment on how often I am right. I am most definitely right on education issues 90% of the time.

            I’ll tell you what. I won’t resign, however when I am all done on the BOE I will volunteer my time to personally work with you on developing your writing skills.

            The only rule is that asterisks will not be allowed to precede or follow any of your writings.

            *** Do we have a deal?***

          2. *** So says the english grammar teacher that answers blog comments with what’s considered proper abbreviation & correct punctuation, etc. Does not address the questions or blog comments, lately she just rants about proper grammar or writing issue as if the blogger is writing an english essay for a grade? The object is very simple, make it easy enough for the reader to understand the message, no? You either don’t want to understand, or have just run out of excuses? Here’s a surprise, your not an asset to the BOE anymore, you’ve become a big distraction instead! Its nothing personal its just time you start paying attention to all the negative drama that seems to follow you & why, instead of pointing the finger of blame somewhere else, no? ***

        2. Mojo, you did it again.

          “…your not an asset to the BOE anymore.”

          It is “you’re” not your. You really don’t understand the difference. You have done this three consecutive times now.

          Your lengthy post doesn’t mention if you’re accepting the deal or not.

          I guess it’s safe to say you’re not inclined to accept my offer.

          You’re certainly entitled to your opinion . Afterall, you’re a former elected official that possesses knowledge about Bridgeport.

          I am sure you’re someone who just cares about Bridgeport in your own way.

          Enjoy your day.:)

  13. He said “Go Fund Yourself” and you know it. This misinterpretation of fact mirrors the “Attack” scenario, Maria. You certainly have passion and the intelligence to be very effective but this nonsense is on you. You aid in making this BOE a disgrace. You’re not some prize winning whistleblower. Your ego denies you the ability to act rationally and honestly and you continue to mimic the victimization tactics that Captain MAGA display. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Grow Up.

    1. Peter Slywka,

      I was the closest person to John Weldon as evidenced by cell phone video footage. You were no where to be found. This is so typical. The only bloggers on OIB defending John Weldon are men. The women on this blog get it.

      Let’s talk about “dysfunction” on the BOE and who perpetuates it.

      On January 28, 2019 I was verbally and physically harassed, and physically assaulted by Christopher Taylor on school grounds. It was captured on BBOE video cameras. The video is clear and unambiguous. Both I and my attorney met with a BPD Detective yesterday and made it clear that our expectation is a warrant will be issued for his arrest. In addition he has yelled out at public school board meetings that he hates our Construction Liaison, Allen Wallach. He threatened the Director of Athletics for politely and professionally expressing a different point of view from Chris Taylor. He stated that any school teacher that wouldn’t agree to a 6% pay cut could leave and stated “Good riddance to bad rubbish.” He stated that he wanted the Board to terminate Allen Wallack and Larry Schilling. Larry Schilling is not even a BOE employee. When I shared this information he wanted the Board to send a letter to the Mayor demanding he be fired. He has attacked the Chief Talent Officer who has simply gotten up and stormed out of meetings. He has accused high-level members of the BOE administration of having an affair on Facebook, and much more.

      Sybil Allen physically assaulted JoAnn Kennedy in the lobby of 45 Lyon Terrace while video recording John Weldon, Chris Taylor, Hernan Illingworth, Jessica Martinez, Sybil Allen and Ezequiel Santiago’s lover, Paula Romero. Hernan Illingworth laughed in the background while the others did absolutely nothing. JoAnn Kennedy filed a police report as well.

      What has John Weldon done to censure them? Absolutely nothing.

      1. “The only bloggers on OIB defending John Weldon are men. The women on this blog get it.”

        Paging Frank Gyure. Maria Pereira believes you are a woman.

  14. Not much is reported about what is ongoing in the school system in the interpersonal swamp above in my opinion. Unfortunate. It does earn bad grades for the site and for the City, but the Constitution was about rights and freedoms and not about ‘good taste’ or respect for others being important in the exercise of rights.
    On Wednesday evening at the Bijou the NAACP sponsored two debates among City middle and high school youth. There is an active debate club with members, coaches and up to 8 sessions annually in many of our public schools thanks to the passion of Ron Rapice, a Bridgeport resident, teacher, and avid supporter of debating in the development of public speaking skills, community decorum, and the role of an informed citizenry.The topics debated dealt with creating a gun free city and terming organizations with White Supremacist messages as terrorist groups. Eight young students, judges, and an audience provided a stage for civil, reasoned discourse observing the rules and in full decorum. Students learn to research all sides of a question, resolution or issue even when they argue a position that is not from their heart.
    The event was free to attendees and expenses were covered by sponsoring angels. As Representative Elijah Cummings reminded us earlier this week that we must be appealing to our higher angels. Time will tell.

  15. You can’t listen and make your own mind? The sound of the letter ‘c’ and ‘k’ in “fuck” is distinguishing when compared with ‘u’ and ‘d’ in “fund”.

  16. Ivory Tower lectures leave us nowhere. Politics has been described as a “body sport.” There is the cliche ,”if you can’t take the heat in the kitchen,then get out.” We have some cerebral thinkers about a better Bridgeport but they REFUSE to hit the street. What good are they ????

  17. If Marilyn Moore is depending on cerebral thinkers from Black Rock,she is going to lose big time. Moore needs people to hit the streets now. Over and over and over again.

    1. Frank, you are absolutely right.

      Transformational change of Bridgeport will not happen on this blog. It will happen by knocking on doors, educating voters, engaging them where they are and inspiring them to get out and vote for candidates that are NOT endorsed Democrats.

      If everyone who complains about the state of governance in Bridgeport just contributed 10 -20 hours volunteering for reform candidates this summer, those candidates would likely win.

      Knocking on doors is just a form of socializing if you are doing it right. If you are a robot saying the exact same thing to every voter, you are a poor canvasser.

      I have missed it due to my back injury. I got out to about 50% of Thomas Hooker last summer, but was still recovering from my back surgery.

      I really hope I can give it 100% this year.

  18. I am very uncomfortable about picketing the residential home of a public leader. I am still undecided. But maybe it is time to do that. I know one thing. Don’t expect any cerebral support from the brain trust in Black Rock. MP. I am undecided and remain torn if this is the right thing.

  19. Weldon should simply resign and we won’t have to make a decision about picketing a personal residence. I really am disappointed that we are facing this decision in the next few day. Actually,this is breaking my heart.


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