The Northern Burlington Regional School District holds a paramount duty to create a safe and inclusive atmosphere for all students and community members, regardless of their beliefs or opinions. Yet, recent emails obtained through an Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) request reveal a hostile reality where diversity of thought is suppressed, and respect is only granted to those with “correct” opinions. The frightening reality is that at Northern, daring to hold a differing viewpoint can result in you being targeted and labeled “dangerous” by the liberal elites who run the district.
The No Place for Hate (“NPFH”) committee, intended to bring unity and foster tolerance, has unfortunately become a tool for political and religious discrimination and censorship. Alarming emails reveal a concerning display of bullying by a group of staff and parents, including the NPFH advisor, Brian Wolverton, the PTSC president, Janice Sarcomo, and Chris Schilling, a military official. Even more concerning, the high school principal, Sally Lopez, and school board member Radiah Gamble were copied on all the emails and failed to intervene or remove themselves, which can be seen as a tacit endorsement of the behavior.
Over 60 pages of emails reveal a shocking attempt by the self-proclaimed “anti-hate” committee to silence me, with a vow to persist until my supposed “dangerous actions” come to an end. What was the “dangerous” behavior I engaged in? Simply expressing my conservative views on the exposure of my elementary children to terms like “polysexual” and “pansexual.” The audacity of holding an alternate viewpoint, oh the scandal!
The true concern lies in the statement made by Anna Fe Rebadavia, branding those who hold similar beliefs to mine, advocating for age-appropriate material in elementary schools, as “dangerous to the school and community.” This baseless labeling only exacerbates the discrimination and ostracism of those who bravely express a different viewpoint.
While not surprising, these select few imagine themselves as the voice of the majority, dictating what is appropriate for young children to learn. They imagine themselves as the authoritative figures in determining education standards, despite the complexity and diversity of opinions and perspectives on the matter.
They craft talking points and lists, asserting their moral and intellectual dominance without a moment of introspection. But their actions and words clash with the very objective of the program they purport to uphold – “No Place for Hate.”
And the grand finale, Chris Schilling brings in the big guns – the United States Military Commander. Because, naturally, when you disagree with someone about the education of six and seven-year-olds, you call in the military. Just another day of brilliance from the esteemed “No Place for Hate” committee.
To ensure a safe and inclusive community, the Northern Burlington Regional School District must take a stand against the harmful actions of this select group. Their blatant disregard for the No Place for Hate initiative and their mistreatment of individuals with differing opinions undermines the very fabric of our community. The district has a responsibility to promote respect, safety, and inclusivity for all, and they must hold this group accountable for their behavior. Let us celebrate diversity of thought, not suppress it.
A Critical Public Concern: Take Notice
The actions and statements of the adult No Place for Hate committee members hold significant public interest as they hold the potential to shape the success of the initiative, as stated by the ADL. As a result, their actions not only impact the school district, but also involve the use of taxpayer funds if approved by the school board for training and activities. It is imperative that the public remains informed and engaged with the decisions and actions of the No Place for Hate committee.
I invite you to peruse the complete record of correspondence, which will allow you to thoroughly examine the evidence and arrive at your own well-informed conclusions. Please note that the statements made above are a reflection of my personal interpretations and assessments of the emails in question.
Join the Movement for Improving NPFH Today
Become a part of the NPFH Committee and work alongside its current members to make a difference. Your efforts will help ensure that similar incidents never happen again.
- Janice Sarcomo
- Chris Schilling
- Anna Fe Rebadavia
- Catherine Wolfe
- Ellen Deerberg
- Tina Janis
- Michele Mazakas
- Renee Farrar
- Jackie Halaw
- Christina Hoggan
- Kristin Goldmacher
- Andrea Katz
- Ensaf Robbins
- Shamita Alwani
New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA)
The New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA) provides for the public’s right to access government records, including emails, created or maintained by a public agency. The act requires public agencies to provide access to records upon request, unless the records are exempt from disclosure under the act.
If you have received emails from a public agency in response to a request made under OPRA, and the emails were provided to you without redactions, it means that the public agency has determined that the emails are not exempt from disclosure under the act. In such a case, you would be allowed to share the emails publicly, including online.
The act explicitly states that all government records shall be readily accessible for inspection, copying, or examination to any person, unless the records are exempt from disclosure under the act. This means that, unless the emails contain information that is exempt from disclosure under the act, you would be allowed to share the emails publicly.