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Letter: Explaining It Once Again

I never expected that looking out for my children would put me at the center of a public storm, and had no desire for media attention, yet here I am. Once again, I find myself having to respond to inaccurate stories. 

First, I did not go to the media with the story of what followed the choking incident at Jackson. If I were going to bring that story to the media, I would have done it three months ago. I chose not to in an effort to keep everything positive for the children and the district. However, I was approached by the media after a letter that I had sent was given to reporters by Mrs. Parrino. 

 

The letter is referred to as the “Ramos letter.” Laurain Jones and I wrote it in response to the board’s request for a detailed timeline of events following our request to meet with them.  

 

So, NO, I didn’t just arbitrarily write a 5-page letter to the board.  We followed the chain of command ending with the BOE.  When I sent my response to the board on April 8, I considered it over. 

 

A recent article in the Williston Times (not this paper) states: “She said the incident might not have been a factor in Hale’s decision to resign if the board had agreed to a meeting.” Totally not my words. I have spoken to the reporter, who apologized, saying, “that’s what I thought you meant.” Let me share what I said:   

 

“It has been an unfortunate chain of events. I don’t feel that the situation was handled properly from the beginning. I feel that if we had met with the board and were able to ask and answer questions, there would have not been a continued exchange of e-mails increasing frustration levels and ultimately leading to Mr. Hale’s comments.  

 

“While I don’t condone what Mr. Hale said, I certainly would not have taken action against him. We spoke about it, and as he did with the board, he apologized, I accepted, and it was over.  

 

“I just want this to all end and the district to be able to again focus on the education of the children and not childish nonsense.”  

Unfortunately, it didn’t end because Mrs. Parrino took it upon herself to not only release confidential e-mails between board members, but also personal e-mail exchanges between myself, Laurain Jones and the board. Mrs. Parrino made them public in what I see as an attempt to go out in a blaze.  Mr. Hale resigned. That’s where it should have ended.  

 

Mrs. Parrino’s comments to the press two weeks ago and her release of the e-mails brought up a situation, involving children, that was over.  Mrs. Parrino, you brought turmoil to a finally settled district, and your blatant disregard for children has not gone unnoticed. I am disgusted that you would go to such great lengths to stir the pot and drag children into it.

 

To Mr. Hale: neither I nor anyone else could ever take away what you have done for the children in this district for many years. As I said to you, I was disappointed in what you said regarding a situation involving my child. You took ownership for your words, you apologized, I accepted and it is a disgrace that this is how it has to end.

 

In closing, I would greatly appreciate it if anyone has any questions or would like to see the letter that I sent to the Board, please just ask.  There is nothing worse than coming into the middle of a conversation, hearing only parts of it, and drawing your own conclusions.  I myself can see how reading the article without knowing the background can raise questions and anger. 

 

Linda Ramos

Mineola Resident