Remarks made by Robert Cox, Managing Editor, Talk of the Sound, to the Board of Education on March 29, 2011:
The leadership of this district, the senior administrators, the Superintendent and you, the Board of Education has created a culture in the New Rochelle school system where perpetrators are seen as victims and the victims are seen as perpetrators, where those who blow the whistle on wrongdoing are the enemy and those whose do wrong are protected.
When you tolerate employees who routinely hurl racial epithets at students and staff, when you tolerate security guards who transmit nude images of children to other staff and spread them around the schools, when you tolerate wholesale misappropriation of school vehicles, equipment and supplies, tolerate no show jobs, submit falsified violent incident reports to the State, hire as head of security a man heavily involved with an illegal gambling web site featuring vile, misogynic pornographic images of women and then allow that same man to coach girl’s sports team, when you endorse fraudulent 211 waivers so security administrators can improperly double-dip on their state pension, when you allow workers to use falsified residency papers to obtain civil service positions for which they are not qualified, when you allow teachers to begin working at the school district without having first passed a background check, when you fail to check the job qualifications of civil service applicants so that people without high school diplomas or GEDs and even criminal records, are hired by the district, when you routinely cover up serious crimes by refusing to cooperate with police or the DA, when you delete video tapes of criminal acts, or otherwise hinder criminal investigations in the schools and in general when you reflexively adopt a “circle the wagons” mentality with every transgression big and small then you not only make a Jose Martinez possible in New Rochelle, you make it inevitable.
All of these things and more have been reported to this board and to the community through my web site, Talk of the Sound. And what have you done about it? Nothing – except attack me for being the bearer of bad news otherwise known as the truth.
Richard, you have some nerve sitting there last night at the Jefferson School telling those poor parents echoing concerns raised on my web site to “consider the source,” that they should not believe Talk of the Sound, they should only believe you. Are you truly so out of touch that you did not understand that you were talking to parents who first learned about their Assistant Principal’s sudden departure, his unexplained disappearance, the allegations against him and his arrest not from you, not from the school district but from me, from Talk of the Sound?
The problem “Richard”, is that my reporting has always proved out in the end. This might help you understand why, despite spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers and private investigators to thwart me, to discredit me, to harass me and to retaliate against my family, I have many thousands of loyal readers and listeners and few believe a word you say.
The culture that has bloomed under your leadership is one where those who come forward with information about wrongdoing are treated as the enemy and those who do wrong are viewed as victims to be protected. It is a seriously dysfunctional, bizarro-world that you have created in your short time here in New Rochelle along with a collapse in academic performance, on-time graduation rates and a spike in crime in our schools.
But New Rochelle got to see, again, over these past few weeks who has been right all along (me) and who has been wrong (you).
To the board, I cannot tell whether some of you know about this wrong doing and avert your eyes or whether it is willful ignorance or that you are simply naive or just plain cowards but, as I have often said, the New Rochelle school system is a criminal enterprise with an educational mission and nothing has done more to prove that point that the predations of Jose Martinez, the ignoring of repeated red flags and your bumbling, ill-considered response.