May 31, 2001
Gerald Walpin, Esq.
575 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022-2585
RE: Thomas Sypniewski
Dear Mr. Walpin:
Your letter of May 29, 2001 to Peter Merluzzi has been referred to me for review and response. This matter has been placed on the Board’s Agenda for June 5th, the next Board Meeting, upon the conclusion of which 1 will convey the Board’s formal position to you.
Prior to doing so, however, I take this opportunity to point out several matters which you set forth as facts which are simply not correct. First, at no time did the Board or any of its personnel label Mr. Sypniewski as a racial. It therefore follows that the Board did not either unfairly or falsely make such an accusation.
After a review of the entire situation the Board made certain findings with respect to this incident. Those findings were included in a document in which Mr. Sypniewski was neither mentioned by name nor referred to in any manner. Mr. Sypniewski was notified, separately, of the Board’s findings by mail. The letter to the Sypniewski’s was sent the same day as a fax was sent to the press. Mr. Sypniewski’s name was not mentioned in the communication to the press.
This matter came to the public’s knowledge solely through acts of your client and/or its family. Both the Board and the Administration understand the right of confidentiality and maintained that right of your client throughout this entire matter.
I do not intend to utilize this forum to debate the status of the law on the First Amendment. Suffice it to say that the Board’s actions and its adoptions of policies were not done in a vacuum but, rather, in the context of the heated racial climate at Warren Hills Regional and the likelihood that such conduct as is prescribed in the Rules and Regulations has a high probability of leading to physical violence such as that which has been experienced in this District.
As indicated above, this entire matter will be referred to the Board for further review following which I will report its findings to you.
Very truly yours,
James W. Broscious
c.c. Peter Merluzzi, Supt.
Warren Hills Regional School Dist.