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Reader says The district wants to restrict the spread of facts


Question: What do you call a person who rushes to the scene of an unfolding fight, starts recording video and still images of same without otherwise getting involved or trying to de-escalate the situation or protect the person who lost the fight?
Answer: A reporter!
The district wants to restrict the spread of facts. It does not want the truth of the matter to be revealed. It is now scrambling to literally bully and thresten all students from telling their parents or the news media what they know, or from showing the fight video to anyone the district doesn’t want to see it.
Law enforcement in Las Vegas was busy confiscating concert-goers’ cell phones in the immediate aftermath of the Mandalay Bay shooting. Why did they do this? To delete any and video of the “incident” from those cell phoned so they could take control of the “narrative”, and start spreading disinformation and propaganda. This cap has got to stop.

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Ridgewood Board of Education Holds It’s First Public Meeting Since the Incident


November 7,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  in the first Ridgewood Board of Education public meeting since news broke of the series of fights starting at Stevens Field and then on Brookside Field that sent a high school student to the hospital severely beaten , the Board of Education seemed to be in full CMA (Cover my arse ) mode .

While blog readers have understood with the Ridgewood Police Department now investigating,”This is far from cut and dry. Authorities are doing the right thing by exercising due diligence and making sure they have the full story and truth rather than rushing out to appease with a half informed statement that could expose them to a potential suit especially by the accused. Fishbein’s generalized comments are appropriate at this time , the immediate concern should be injured’s recovery regardless of who and what .When the real story comes out then people can assess whether suspensions or penalties are warranted . This is not going away for anyone anytime soon”

The angry crowd of parents and residents wanted answers .

In a message put out by Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools to parents and guardians ,Fishbein wrote  “It is important to address and dispel rumors that are circulating in our community and to ask for your understanding that this issue, like all student issues that involve minors and are also part of a student’s record, is, and will remain, confidential. Just as we protect the privacy of your child’s record, we are compelled to do the same for all children involved in this incident. For this reason, we cannot comment on the episode or on the eventual outcome, but I do want to reassure you as both a parent and also as your Superintendent, that I trust the administration to act in the best interest of all the students involved, as well as the entire school community. Anyone found to be involved in this incident will be held accountable in an appropriate way, including possible legal proceedings, school discipline and/or counseling.”

While parents play the blame game the Ridgewood blog will continue to focus on who dropped the ball and who didn’t report the brewing conflict between the kids? Unless this happened over night someone at the school or a parent had to know something .

The policy is that the Ridgewood Board of Education explicitly and unequivocally prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying of its students. “Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus, or off school grounds pursuant to law, that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students and that:

a. a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property;
b. has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or
c. creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student’s education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student. !

More importantly an event must be reported  , “Any school employee, contracted service provider, Board of Education member, student or volunteer who has witnessed, or has reliable information that a student has been subject to, harassment, intimidation or bullying is obligated by law to report the incident to the school Principal. !
An act of student harassment, intimidation, or bullying must be reported verbally to the Principal on the same day the person witnesses or receives reliable information regarding the incident. ! The incident must then be reported to the Principal in writing, using the appropriate district form, within two (2) school days of when the incident was observed or the information was received.
As a permanent or substitute school employee, a contracted service provider, a Board of Education member, a student or a volunteer in a New Jersey public school district, one of your responsibilities is to know how to respond if you become aware of harassment, intimidation or bullying that needs to be reported.”

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Ridgewood Board of Education Meeting Monday November 6th


November 5,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Ridgewood Board of Education meeting is on Monday, November 6th at 7:30pm, 3rd floor Education Center.If you are concerned with the current state of affairs, lack of communication, serious issues being swept under the rug, BOE being concerned with the school reputation more than well-being of our kids, please come to the meeting!! Make our voices heard beyond social media.

At all regular meetings, two opportunities are provided for citizens to make comments. The public comment periods will be scheduled after presentations and approximately 9:00 p.m. or just prior to the end of the meeting, whichever occurs first. The first opportunity may be limited by the presiding officer to conclude at about 8:00 p.m. in order for the Board to continue with its scheduled agenda. The second opportunity will occur at about 9:00 p.m. at the discretion of the presiding officer taking into consideration a break point in the agenda.

At every opportunity for public comment, citizens are invited to comment on subjects on the agenda or general topics.

At the discretion of the presiding officer, public comments may be permitted at other times.

Persons wishing to speak must, upon being recognized, rise, sign in, and state their names and addresses. Each speaker shall be limited to four minutes. The Board Recorder will note the time. A speaker who has not finished in the allotted time will be directed by the presiding officer to summarize quickly and relinquish the floor within 30 seconds.

Comments shall be limited to issues. If personal remarks or discourteous statements are made, the presiding officer shall require the speaker to stop. No person will be recognized for a second time until all others asking to speak have been heard.

Education Center

Regular Public Meeting 7:30 p.m.

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Don’t Ridgewood families deserve better?


“Disappointing” “Highly unfortunate” “Unnecessary” this gentleman is the leader and chief of one of the most recognized and largest schools districts on northern NJ. All he cares about is nothing that it was not during school hours. Yet the most damming angle of this is the bullying is concerning ANOTHER bullying experience that has been active for some time.
“I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.”
Don’t Ridgewood families deserve better? If you care about nothing else and you may care about your housing values when no one wants to move to your town because you school and it’s ineptitude are plastered all over NYC/NJ news.That was yesterday.

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Reader says Ridgewood needs prompt, clear transparent action


Can we assume that our transparent administration has immediately suspended the wresting team ? How could we possibly allow them to continue to compete with a Ridgewood school sponsor?
Can we expect our police department to execute arrests in the near future ? Can it really take 10days to get the details ?
Can we assume that we will see a number of kids expelled ?
This can not be allowed to just be swept away, nor is this a time for counseling as suggested by the administration. We need prompt, clear transparent action to let everyone know that bullying, gang fighting, team pack mentality, and not doing the right thing will not be tolerated at all

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Reader says let the actual facts emerge before embracing or making accusations


There are conflicting stories about who and what instigated the dispute that led to this prearranged fight so perhaps it’s best for the generally uninformed, myself included, to let the actual facts emerge before embracing or making accusations that may be false or even libelous.. This is after all the age of hasty reporting that sometimes lays out a storyline that is later change after proper investigation. As far as students attending and videoing, many seem shocked and disappointed by that circus like happening. Unfortunately this is the environment that our kids grow up in where social media is extensively used and sensationalized., a generation where UFC and Kardashian type entertainment reigns . Thankfully, some students appear to have interceded after the injured boy collapsed after a second punch landed .Here ‘s the reality : Fights, raging parties and hard drugs happen here in Ridgewood, most times they don’t lead to bad injuries, outcomes. or overdoses. When they do, there is a knee jerk reaction with much condemnation and efforts to place blame. .The only certainty right now is that we all should be praying for the injured boy to fully recover.

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Fishbein Speaks ………………………


Important Message from Superintendent of Schools

November 3, 2017

Dear Ridgewood Public School Community,

This week the Ridgewood High School Administration has been investigating a serious student incident that rose to the level of police involvement following a thorough, deliberate and confidential exploration of the facts. The incident involved the misuse of social media, destruction of school property and violence.

It is important to address and dispel rumors that are circulating in our community and to ask for your understanding that this issue, like all student issues that involve minors and are also part of a student’s record, is, and will remain, confidential. Just as we protect the privacy of your child’s record, we are compelled to do the same for all children involved in this incident. For this reason, we cannot comment on the episode or on the eventual outcome, but I do want to reassure you as both a parent and also as your Superintendent, that I trust the administration to act in the best interest of all the students involved, as well as the entire school community. Anyone found to be involved in this incident will be held accountable in an appropriate way, including possible legal proceedings, school discipline and/or counseling.

At this time, I would like to also remind you that the Ridgewood High School administration is very open and transparent whenever possible. Anyone who has attended their HSA meetings would agree to their openness to discussing difficult topics and issues that the high school administrators handle. When working with children, even young adolescents to young adults, serious incidents and not-so serious incidents occur. Ridgewood Public School administrators excel at dealing with every such situation with care, and while not everyone may agree on the outcome, I can assure you our administrators work toward resolution and a goal that students will learn from the experience.

To that end, the Ridgewood High School administration will use this recent incident to address “witness” behavior as a school community. It is highly unfortunate that the incident — which happened after school hours on district property — resulted in unnecessary and unacceptable violence. It is also disappointing that other students were present who videoed the incident rather than attempted to intervene in order to prevent physical harm.

I hope you now understand the need for confidentiality in this particular event and are also reassured that action has been taken and will continue as the police complete their investigation. The safety, protection and privacy of our students is a top priority.

Thank you for your support of the Ridgewood Public Schools.


Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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White Privilege ,Civility and the “Victimhood Culture” in Bergen County

village council meeting

file photo Village Council Meeting by Boyd Loving

October 23,2017

the staff of the Ridewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, In the paper , “The Rise of Victimhood Culture.” by Conor Friedersdorf  , Friedersdorf explains, Americans previously settled conflicts within the frameworks of the “honor” and “dignity” cultures:

“In honor cultures like the Old West or the street gangs of West Side Story, they might engage in a duel or physical fight. In dignity cultures, like the ones that prevailed in Western countries during the 19th and 20th Centuries, ‘insults might provoke offense, but they no longer have the same importance as a way of establishing or destroying a reputation for bravery,’ they write. ‘When intolerable conflicts do arise, dignity cultures prescribe direct but non-violent actions.’”

But now, we have the victimhood culture. Quoting Campbell and Manning, Friedersdorf explains this as

“characterized by concern with status and sensitivity to slight combined with a heavy reliance on third parties. People are intolerant of insults, even if unintentional, and react by bringing them to the attention of authorities or to the public at large. Domination is the main form of deviance, and victimization a way of attracting sympathy, so rather than emphasize either their strength or inner worth, the aggrieved emphasize their oppression and social marginalization.

Victimhood cultures emerge in settings, like today’s college campuses, “that increasingly lack the intimacy and cultural homogeneity that once characterized towns and suburbs, but in which organized authority and public opinion remain as powerful sanctions,” they argue. “Under such conditions complaint to third parties has supplanted both toleration and negotiation. People increasingly demand help from others, and advertise their oppression as evidence that they deserve respect and assistance. Thus we might call this moral culture a culture of victimhood … the moral status of the victim, at its nadir in honor cultures, has risen to new heights.”

According to the paper, the following social conditions allow the victimhood culture to get a foothold:

Self-help in the form of dueling or fighting is not an option.

“The availability of social superiors—especially hierarchical superiors such as legal or private administrators—is conducive to reliance on third parties.”

Campaigns aimed at winning over the support of third parties are likeliest to occur in atomized environments, like college campuses, where one cannot rely on members of a family, tribe or clan to automatically take one’s side in a dispute.

Since third-parties are likeliest to intervene in disputes that they regard as relatively serious, and disputes where one group is perceived as dominating another are considered serious by virtue of their aggregate relevance to millions of people, victimhood culture is likeliest to arise in settings where there is some diversity and inequality, but whose members are almost equal, since “a morality that privileges equality and condemns oppression is most likely to arise precisely in settings that already have relatively high degrees of equality.”

In simple terms the members of the victimhood culture operate within a relatively privileged and sheltered environment and try to solve conflicts in a childish fashion by tattling to authority figures so that they may gloat over their perceived aggressors.

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Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi : Our country and our children deserve better from all of us

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi

I have always loved our country for the opportunities it provides. I am the child of parents who did not come from wealth but came from blue collar workers, a first generation American roofer on my dad’s side and a sea captain on my mom’s. From an early age I was pushed to succeed, to learn and to work hard. I stumbled along the way, almost failing out of high school at one point but managed to turn myself around becoming the first woman in my immediate family to graduate from college and transitioning into the person I am today. My life has not been an easy one. I have overcome many obstacles and failures but the things that always stayed with me were my work ethic and my willingness to learn from my mistakes. I have held every job a person could, from being the neighborhood babysitter to the shrimp de-veiner girl at a fish market to a successful lawyer and elected official. I have had money and I have had no money. I have traveled to and worked in other countries and have seen first hand how much we take for granted in our own country. I see the anger and hatred that people currently have and it candidly confuses and saddens me. Should our country work harder to ensure everyone is treated equally regardless of skin color, sexual preference, religion, gender, etc.? Absolutely. Have awful things occurred against people of color or in the name of religion throughout mankind’s history? Yes. Should we have more open and real dialogue on current issues involving race and religion? Yes. Are most people in today’s society racist, bigots, anti-Semites, Nazi’s, white supremacists or any of these items? No. I have been in public office for 5 years and I have prided myself on listening with an open heart to differences of opinion on all topics and issues. I am not someone who views issues as black or white but rather sees most issues are inherently grey without a right or wrong option. But this is the first time in 5 years that I fear for the future of our society as well as my own safety. We must stop the ramping up of hatred and labeling everyone who may not agree on every issue as racist, bigoted, Nazi, snowflakes, Antifa, etc. In the current climate it is dangerous and will result in violence if we continue down this path. I speak with hundreds of people each week. Almost everyone I meet or speak with falls on a bell curve with respect to their own beliefs. While not everyone will agree on all issues I find that most people ebb and flow on certain items depending upon their own life experiences. Very rarely do I encounter those who are the outliers that the press tries to make us believe are the norm and not the exception. Let us make a vow as Americans to respect one another, to bring back the ability to engage in meaningful dialogue on even the toughest of issues, to agree that people have the right to have a difference of opinion and to stop the labeling and name calling. Our country and our children deserve better from all of us

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Tyler Clementi’s parents talk about bullying in CBS interview to be aired Sunday

JUNE 4, 2015, 6:53 PM    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 2015, 7:00 PM

Jane and Joseph Clementi of Ridgewood, whose son Tyler committed suicide almost five years ago after being bullied because of his sexual orientation, talked about their anti-bullying efforts and their enduring pain in an interview that is scheduled to be broadcast Sunday on CBS.

Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University freshman, jumped from the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22, 2010, after learning that his roommate had used a webcam to broadcast a romantic encounter with a man in their dorm room.

In response to a question by Erin Moriarty for the CBS News program “Sunday Morning,” Jane Clementi said family members are still living with the pain of Tyler’s death, and wondering what they might have done differently when he told them he was gay.

“Not even near healed,” Jane Clementi said, according to a press release issued by CBS. “I don’t know what ‘healed’ will be like. I don’t even know that there’s a word for healing. I think it’s learning to live through the pain.”

The interview with the Clementis is scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday at 9 a.m. Moriarty is a correspondent for the network’s “48 Hours” TV show.