Bridgeport’s School Board Disintegrates Into Chaos Over New Appointee

The Bridgeport School Board fell into chaos, again.

Fighting and rancor is nothing new at school board meetings — a fact which regular readers of the blog are painfully aware — but, this time, things got out of hand.

I mean, really out of hand.

As you can see in the video, school board member Maria Pereira essentially hijacked the meeting, then refused to let the city attorney or anyone else speak. It got so intense that the meeting was cut short, leaving several agenda items undiscussed, including whether to form a committee to help Bassick High School, one of the lowest-performing schools in the state.

It appeared Maria Pereira’s main objective during Monday night’s board meeting was to oust newly appointed member Annette Segara Negron from the board.

Monday was Negron’s first meeting after being appointed by Mayor Joseph Ganim to replace David Hennessey, who resigned in May.

Pereira plans to independently sue the city over Negron’s appointment because she believes the Mayor has no authority to appoint. Her display on Monday night was merely a tactic to ensure victory in the courts — in fact, she even admitted this in the comments section of the blog Only In Bridgeport:

“We are very close. This is on the agenda tonight because we want to show a judge we sought administrative relief BEFORE we go to court. It’s called strategy.”

Two weeks ago Bridgeport Board of Education member Howard Gardner wrote an Op-ed for the Connecticut Post refuting that the Board Of Education is dysfunctional. According to Gardner, it’s outside political forces that are the problem. The conflict is just a “clashing of ideas”:

“No, the BBOE is not dysfunctional based on the presence of conflicts. The democratic process, Robert’s Rules, and common sense promote dialectics — contrasting and clashing of ideas through respectful deliberations. This process invariably leads to the best solutions.”

I wish Gardner was right, but it seems he’s a bit off-base with his description of what happens at meetings.

What has been happening isn’t dialectic discussion, it’s a trainwreck, leaving the children and families of Bridgeport in its path.




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