Cedar Grove School Board Confronted with Parental Concerns Over Bullying Incidents

In a recent Cedar Grove School Board meeting, issues were raised by parents regarding the handling of harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) investigations. Two parents, Lisa Cili and Mrs. Harris, voiced their frustrations over the perceived delays and lack of communication from the school administration in handling the HIB incidents involving their sons. The board responded to these concerns.

Lisa Cili, in a detailed account, spoke of her son’s involvement in an incident at Panther Park and the subsequent handling by the school. She provided a timeline of emails and explained that while law enforcement had concluded their part of the investigation as early as October 12th, the school’s investigation was still pending. Cili highlighted the impact on her son due to the delay and communicated her dissatisfaction with the lack of updates and resolution.

Mrs. Harris, also affected by the school’s handling of an alleged HIB incident, shared her experience as a teacher in a neighboring district. She emphasized the emotional toll on her son and criticized the school for not adhering to compliance regulations and for failing to maintain adequate communication. Both parents’ testimonies underscored a call for more effective and timely communication and resolution in HIB cases.

Superintendent Anthony Grosso and the board members recognized the need for better communication. Grosso expressed a willingness to follow up on the matter.

In addition to the concerns over HIB cases, the meeting also covered the Cedar Grove High School DECA club’s proposal for attending the New Jersey DECA State Conference in Atlantic City. The DECA club advisors presented the details of the trip, including the number of students attending, chaperones, accommodations, pricing, transportation, and itinerary. The board members expressed their support for the proposal, acknowledging the growth of the club and the dedication of the students involved.

The meeting continued with routine committee reports discussing finance, personnel, and curriculum. The finance committee examined the bills list and the preparation for the upcoming annual budget. The personnel committee discussed routine matters such as the replacement of a guidance counselor at North End School, approval of a girls’ cross coach, and professional development conferences. The curriculum committee focused on the adoption of a new math series for grades K-4, emphasizing collaborative efforts in the selection process.

Additionally, the student representative updated on school events, including a planned lip sync battle fundraiser. Board President Dawn Daura acknowledged the efforts of fellow board members as part of National School Board Member Appreciation Month and announced the plans for a superintendent search in collaboration with the New Jersey School Boards Association.

The public comment session did not yield any further discussion from residents, and the meeting proceeded to the approval of various resolutions related to general administration, human resources, and special services.

The meeting concluded with announcements for future meetings, scheduled for February 27th and March 19th at different school locations, and a motion to adjourn into a closed session to discuss contractual and personnel matters.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Superintendent:
Anthony Grosso
School Board Officials:
Dawn Daura, Cienne Keegan, David Grande, Lou Marzullo, Paul A. Palek Jr., Michael DeVita (Business Administrator), Bart Pierson (Supervisor of Humanities 5-12), Janine Barboza (Supervisor of Mathematics / Science 5-12), Kristin Massotto (Supervisor of Elementary Education PreK-4), Jessica Pignatello (Director of Special Services), Catherine Alvarez (Director of School Counseling)

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