To the Editor,
Rockland County Executive Ed Day’s recent column (“Fighting For East Ramapo,” March 17) tackles the highly charged debate over a state-appointed monitor for East Ramapo. The debate of the plight of the district’s public schools is legitimate and we are sympathetic to the district’s parents and students who have seen a depletion of school resources and services over the last several years.
We are also acutely aware, and increasingly concerned, by the community tensions surrounding this public debate. Americans are entitled to have strong opinions, but there is also language that is inappropriate and offensive in any such discussion. Indeed, Ed Day raises the issue of anti-Semitism and racism that has emanated from this debate, but he lays the blame for it at the “majority Orthodox Jewish school board.”
Elected officials not only must address problems in the public schools, they also should be working to ease community tensions. In this regard, Mr. Day failed. We hope that Mr. Day will weigh his words more carefully and understand that rhetoric like this, whether in the press or in other public outlets, can only create greater distances between communities rather than build the bridges that are sorely needed.
Evan R. Bernstein
New York Regional Director