Parents Demand BOE Member Resign After He Curses At Parent In Meeting

SOUTHOLD, NY —Some parents are outraged and demanding that Southold Board of Education Vice-President Dr. John Crean step down after a heated verbal exchange during which he uttered an obscenity at a parent, telling him, “F— you!”

Glen Homer, the parent of a sixth grader, said he chose to speak at the BOE meeting Wednesday night to address concerns that he, along with a number of other parents, have with what appears to be a cutback in the music program, specifically the band.

At the end of this past school year, both the band and the orchestra teachers retired; they each had 20-plus years of service with Southold schools, he said.

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“They were fantastic teachers, were adored by the students, and they saw to it that their students consistently performed at an exceptional level. Even under the best of circumstances, it would be challenging to replace both of them,” Homer said.

Homer said his concern specifically centers on the decision to only one hire one person to replace the orchestra teacher. Southold Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Mauro and the BOE have decided to have the band teaching position covered by existing teachers, with the possibility of making a part-time hire to fill in the gaps, Homer said.

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“This will only serve to strain existing resources and will not provide the band students with the same degree of focused and dedicated instruction they have received for decades,” he added.

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While questioning Dr. Mauro and the BOE at Wednesday’s meeting, Homer said he focused on three primary areas of concern.

Homer then shared the numbers. “You can see the band program has rebounded post-COVID,” he said.

Dr. Mauro said the word “cut” was not accurate, because two were leaving but 1.8 would be in place. Homer advocated for two new hires and said he thought it was “shortsighted” not to do so.

It was then, he said, that controversy erupted.

“While making my closing remarks that focused on why my family and I chose to live in Southold Town and why the continuation of these school programs as we have known them is important to us, Dr. Crean began aggressively pointing his finger at me and told me he did not appreciate my snarky attitude,” Homer said.

The video showed Cream saying he disagreed with Homer “very strongly. If you’re unhappy in Southold, you’re free to move somewhere else.”

“That’s a stupid thing to say,” Homer said.

“No, it’s not,” Crean said. “You’re very aggressive. I don’t like your tone.”

“I’m not being aggressive,” said a visibly upset Homer. “Now I’m being aggressive.”

BOE President Paulette Ofrias tried to get control back of the meeting.

Homer said he’d been very calm while presenting his points.

“You’ve been snarky and disrespectful. That’s my opinion and if you don’t like it, that’s too bad,” Crean said.

“Your opinion sucks,” Homer said.

“F— y–,” Crean was seen saying on the YouTube video, which muted out the obscenity.

“Due to his response, how can any other parent feel comfortable standing at a podium to voice their concerns moving forward?” Homer said.

Neither Dr. Mauro, Crean, or a school representative immediately returned requests for comment.

Homer added that he absolutely believes Dr. Crean should step down.

“My interaction with him was troubling on multiple levels. I am most concerned about the fact that we have an elected official whose stance on an important issue is, ‘If you don’t like it, you can just move,'” he said. “His job as an elected BOE member is to listen to the concerns of tax-paying parents. His response speaks volumes as to how he feels about receiving constructive feedback from the community.”

The cursing was also troublesome, he said. ” This serves to demonstrate that he is also impulsive, crass, and highly unprofessional,” Homer said. “For both of these reasons, I strongly feel that Dr. Crean is unfit for service on the BOE. He should either resign immediately, or be forced to step down.”

Two other mothers who were at the meeting but asked not to be named, reached out to Patch separately to report what had transpired, verbatim. One noted that the BOE meeting, which was uploaded as usual to YouTube, had the portion with the obscenity muted.

Another mother who stood up to speak after the exchange called it “alarming.”

Both parents who reached out to Patch said they hoped the full music program would remain in place, and said they would be writing letters to ask for Crean to step down.

The meeting then continued as normal with parents advocating for the full music program, which they lauded. One woman said she is “in awe” of the program, comparable to any work she’d seen on Broadway.

To watch the full meeting, click here.

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