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What Democracy? NBOE President Calls Public Participation “Bullshit”

Bullshit. Begin and end quote.

That’s what Newark Board of Education President Josephine Garcia called public participation at tonight’s meeting.

Newark Board of Education Meeting, 1/28/21

Yup, that’s my FB profile pic in the bottom right corner. So why did I record it? It’s just a petty comment right? Heat of the moment. We’ve all done it.

No. That sentiment expresses how the board, under her leadership, views the democratic process. For them, deliberation has no place in our public education system. This is further demonstrated by another act from tonight’s meeting–the swearing in of a political appointee to the vacancy left by the untimely passing of Board Member Tave Padilla.

The law states that a school board gets to fill a vacancy of this kind by majority vote of the remaining members. In no other place is a specific, required process outlined. This board, under Garcia’s leadership, allowed nearly the full 65 days allotted to make an appointment go by before having a discussion (in Executive Session no less) as a board about what to do. Then, with the business and regular meetings occurring two days apart from each other, made NO mention at Tuesday’s business meeting of their decision to appoint someone. They approved Thursday’s (tonight’s) agenda at the Tuesday meeting and then amended it as soon as tonight’s meeting opened. They amended the agenda to add the appointment vote.

So, if the law allows them to do this (but does it?), they’re not in the wrong, right? Wrong. This board had a choice. They always had a choice as to how to go about filling the vacancy. One such choice would have been to take applications from all those interested, deliberate over the applications, and then appoint someone. Another choice would have been to appoint a candidate from the last school board election, first asking the highest vote getter.

I guess this isn’t what they mean by school choice. I guess it’s all just bullshit.


  1. Marcella Simadiris
    Marcella Simadiris January 29, 2021

    Shame….shame…..shame……seeing this is so disheartening because I know that this is the sentiment of many who serve on boards of educations across this state. Many do not take this position to really serve but so that the position can serve them and their exclusive friends. This is a major element in why we as a state can not secure equity. Equity requires a tremendous amount of work and dedication. Long hours of research and the ability to be courageous and take stands. So often when we do have people willing to do that work in those positions they get undermined. I have seen it everywhere, Montclair, Paterson, Jersey City the list goes on and on. I challenge everyone who sees this video to put your relationships to the side and raise the bar for our children. We can’t keep talking about what needs to be done we have to do it. The resignation of this board member should be demanded by the masses. Protect the democracy that protects our children…..just show up at rallies….. It is no wonder why the conditions are still horrible for the most marginalized……CHECK YOURSELF!

  2. Marcella Simadiris
    Marcella Simadiris January 29, 2021

    *don’t just show up

  3. Cila
    Cila January 29, 2021

    She’s not the only one, they all feel the same way that we are b*******. we as parents are fighting for a better tomorrow for our children and here we go we have this clowns representing our children she needs to step down if she was able to say what she said it means the all of them been hearing and saying the exactly sameway.

  4. maverick1975
    maverick1975 January 29, 2021

    This is atrocious.

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