This is in response to Kani Ilangovan’s letter appearing in the Aug. 16, issue of The News concerning the decision to have Class III police officers in WW-P schools.
This is a subject where some people may hold strong opinions, both for and against, and it is fair for Ms. Ilangovan to state her position.
However, I believe it is neither fair nor accurate to claim a lack of transparency on the part of the WW-P Board of Education. Throughout this process, the board’s actions have been open and clear. The issue of school security and the possible use of Class III police officers was the subject of the superintendent’s opening comments at the board’s March 6, 2018, public meeting.
The topic was raised at all following board of education meetings leading up to the vote on June 26. Minutes and video recordings of the March 6 meeting and all subsequent public meetings had been posted on the district website.
The superintendent’s April 12 message on school security, sent out to all district parents and staff, identified the use of Class III officers and an increased police presence in our schools as actions the board was reviewing.
At the May 8 public board meeting, a presentation was given by the superintendent and the Chiefs of Police for Plainsboro and West Windsor recommending the use of Class III officers. The video recording of this presentation was posted on the school district’s website and broadcast repeatedly on the township cable stations in both Plainsboro and West Windsor.
The proposal to have Class III police officers in our schools was the subject of a front-page article in the May 30, 2018, issue of this newspaper.
Finally, the superintendent and the chief of police made a public presentation to the West Windsor Township Council on June 25 on this subject.
As a measure of the public’s awareness of this subject, I will point out that public comments on the use of Class III police officers were first made at the March 20 board meeting and continued to be made at following meetings until the June 26 vote. There were active discussions on social media concerning Class III officers beginning as early as March. And finally, board members, including myself, had numerous discussions with residents throughout this period.
Again, while Ms. Ilangovan is obviously unhappy with the board’s decision, I believe it is disingenuous to complain about a lack of transparency. However, there is one point on which she and I do agree: that the police officers are, and will continue to be, positive influences in students’ lives.
— Anthony Fleres
Fleres is president of the WW-P School Board. The opinions expressed in his letter are his own and don’t represent those of the board.