NEW ROCHELLE, NY — As the investigation into unspecified allegations against head football coach Lou DeRienzo, announced by the New Rochelle Schools Superintendent last Wednesday, drifted into its second week, anger in the community shifted Tuesday night from Dr. Laura Feijóo to now include the Board Members who hired her in June. Many in the crowded auditorium of the Daniel Webster Elementary School echoed the remarks of NAACP New Rochelle Branch President Minister Mark McLean who called on Board President Amy Moselhi to resign.
No one in the packed house rose to defend Feijóo or the school board but most exempted newcomers Valerie Williams and William Ianuzzi who were not on the board the week of June 28th when the decision to hire Feijóo was made.
At the meeting ended shortly after 10:30 p.m., Valerie Williams was attempting to make a motion to go into Executive Session to discuss the concerns raised by the community over the past three and a half hours. Moselhi did not recognize Williams prompting Williams to confront Moselhi from the auditorium stage. Moselhi quickly gave up listening to Williams then asking Board Member Lianne Williams to talk to Williams.
The video is not clear but a rough transcript of Williams remarks reads as follows:
“Absolutely unacceptable…yes, yes I’m very mad because it’s so obvious by talking to the people…just because they are black and brown…there are white people…it’s all of us, it’s unacceptable..well can we have Executive Session or something? When are we going to have it…it doesn’t make sense. I’m right. This is so wrong. I don’t understand why you don’t know that Paul…I am upset.
There were dozens of speakers but a few stood out.
NAACP New Rochelle Branch President Minister Mark McLean:
I am here tonight to stand up and declare that this tyrannical, destructive reign must end. It is time for this leadership to resign. If we hope to get it back in line this leadership has to resign.
Sr. Joan DiRienzo Principal at St. Bernadette Catholic Academy in the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn:
You have a chance tonight to at least begin the road to healing if you take a page from my brother’s playbook. Acknowledge that there is a better way to proceed and seek to do so by inclusion and consideration of the legitimate points raised by this community
Cheryl Smith, teachers at ALMS and Union Negotiator:
Who would choose to come to a District where there is no due process. Who would choose to work where they could be publicly shamed at any time for any reason before anyone bothers to interview them
Westchester County Legislator Damon Maher:
How could you read the history of civil rights legislation in the 1960s and still believe the bloodshed, those laws was for the use of entitled well-compensated white administrator