Dear members of the Board of Education and Dr. Melnick,
My colleagues and I stand before you tonight in support of Mr. Aaron Kozlowski an exceptional teacher, an admired coach and an extraordinary courageous man. It is an honor for me to represent and speak on Aaron’s behalf tonight. Regretfully, Aaron is not allowed to attend this meeting.
As Union President, one of my responsibilities is to attend all Board of Education meetings. My colleagues and I have the utmost respect for all you do for the children of the North Shore school district and the local community. But tonight, we attend this meeting discouraged and disappointed, not for any actions you have taken, but for your lack of action. We are here tonight to request that Aaron Kozlowski be immediately reinstated as a teacher and coach in the North Shore School District.
In Aarons absence let me just give you a brief summary of the ordeal that this fine young man has been through over the past eight months.
President Berliner, fellow trustees of the Board of Education and Dr. Melnick, we all know you met in a closed door executive session to discuss Aaron’s case on Oct. 10th and also on the 15th. You were scheduled to meet again this past Monday evening to continue your discussion but then cancelled that meeting. My colleagues and I beseech you to bring this discussion to a conclusion and reinstate our falsely accused friend and colleague immediately.
At this time, I would like to read and present to you a petition in support of Aaron signed by three hundred teachers, teaching assistants and secretaries in the North Shore School District.
We recognize the Board of Education’s obligation to fulfill its role in loco parentis as guardians of school safety. When a teacher is charged with harmful conduct it is the Board’s responsibility to investigate such charges within the parameters of due process.
But when due process has been accorded, when all claims have been investigated and dismissed by our judicial system, when all charges have been dropped, it is also the Board’s responsibility to publically exonerate that teacher and allow him to reenter his profession.
Every day accused is a day convicted in the public’s mind. Every day that you refuse to reinstate our colleague heaps more damage on a person who has been falsely accused and publically humiliated without cause or substance.
North Shore Schools Federated Employees calls upon this Board of Education to reinstate Aaron Kozlowski immediately. Allow
this outstanding young man to start repairing the damage to
his life and the life of his family. Show North Shore’s teachers,
parents and students that this community stands for fairness
In closing, I have two questions to ask all of you. Hasn’t this gentleman and his family suffered enough? Every day you do not reach a decision with regard to reinstating this fine young man as a teacher in the North Shore School District is another day of conviction to the public’s mind.
This scenario of false accusations could happen to anyone in this room, especially the teaching staff since we are surrounded by children all day long, all year long. In the future will this Board of Education support its teachers if false accusations are made by a child against a teacher?
President Berliner, fellow Trustees and Dr. Melnick, tonight Aaron’s colleagues and I plead with you to bring this matter to a quick resolution. Please find it in your hearts and minds to reinstate Aaron Kozlowski as a teacher and coach in the North Shore School District, please do so expeditiously.
Aaron and his family have suffered enough. Let this man of outstanding character return to his classroom and begin the process of rebuilding both his life and his career.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of Aaron Kozlowski and his North Shore Colleagues,
North Shore Schools Federated Employees