Case Status:

Sypniewski: Reply to the school’s first response

June 4, 2001

James W. Broscious, Esq.
Broscious, Glynn & Fischer, P.C.
111 West Washington Avenue
Washingron, New Jersey 07882

Re: Thomas Sypniewski

Dear Mr. Broscious:

I saw today your e-mail letter to me dated May 31, 2001, but received at my office very late on Friday while I was out of town.

I will, of course, give you the courtesy of wailing for your report to me on Wednesday of the decision made by the Board at Tuesday’s meeting. For that purpose, I am willing to drive to Washington. I understand that the Board meetings begin at 7:30 and that the first part of the meetings ordinarily deals with more routine matters. I believe that I could arrive by 8:00 p.m. or shortly thereafter. Please let me know if the Board would give me the courtesy of being heard.

While not responding to all of the points made in your letter, I thought it would be helpful for you and the Board to have the following comments from me, which support those in my letter to Mr. Merluzzi dated May 29, 2001.

First, I am informed that, immediately after the faxed receipt of my letter, instructions were communicated to the teaching staff that Mr. Sypniewski was to be required to take final exams, even though all graduating seniors with a GPA of 93% or higher (Mr. Sypniewski fits into that category) are excused from that obligation. You have to understand that this sequence of events has, at least, the appearance of punitive retribution. Particularly given the nature of the suspension here involved and its principle-based and constitutional dimensions – and not typical delinquency misconduct – that requirement should be immediately rescinded, whatever the Board otherwise decides to do, and Mr. Sypniewski should be treated as all other graduating seniors with that GPA.

Your defense against the defamation ignores the facts. Given the relative smallness and closeness of the community, everyone realized that Mr. Sypniewski was the subject of the Board decision. Indeed, Mr. Sypniewski and his family learned of the affirmance of the suspension from the press who immediately called the family, recognizing at once that the action taken and statements made by the Board related to him. As you, I am sure, are aware, defamation wrongdoing can occur without even using a person’s name where the identity of the target is otherwise apparent or known.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,
Gerald Walpin

cc: Mr. Thomas Sypniewski