Until last night’s meeting, Montclair teachers had a place in the city’s Board of Education meetings with a regular part on meeting agendas for Montclair Education Assn., the local teachers’ union. But as of last night, the teachers are off the agenda, relegated to the public comment period – with a 3-minute maximum time limit. To the union, the rule represents a break down in inclusion of the nearly 1,000 educators responsible for the kids during the bulk of their day, and the loss of diverse opinions and the collaboration that can come of them. “How many of us,” she asked, “would not be here today” if it were not for the dissension expressed during Montclair schools desegregation? But MEA president Gayl Shepard was unable to say all she prepared to say. She was cut off at 3 minutes.
So a parent at the podium picked up Shepard’s remarks where she left off, and the rest of the speech was read aloud by the audience. Montclair Patch got video: