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School Chief's Resignation Sparks Facebook Outcry

Greenwich residents are taking to Facebook after hearing the news of Superintendent Sidney Freund’s unexpected resignation Tuesday by forming the group, "Bring Back Dr. Sidney Freund."

The Facebook group, created by Old Greenwich resident John Colbert, was created Tuesday evening after the announcement Tuesday morning that Freund had submitted his letter of resignation and would step down as of September.

Colbert wrote he hoped to rally 100 “likes” by the next day. By late Wednesday, more than 400 supporters had “liked” the page and the comments were continuing to pour in.

Robin Reeves Zorthian, a Central Middle School parent, said Freund made a positive difference on students at the school and with special education families in the past two years. “We don’t need to interpret ‘data’ or standardized test results to prove this. The parents, staff and students know it’s a fact,” she said.

Parent Anne Pollock Waldron wrote, “The children of Greenwich need you, which means the parents do as well. In your short tenure in Greenwich, you have brought hope, excitement and change to a school system that is dying to reach its potential. Please consider staying on to help Greenwich schools achieve.”

Last week, the Board of Education had voted positively to start negotiations to extend Freund’s contract by two years. Only two board members, Marianna Ponns Cohen and Peter Sherr, had dissenting votes. Several Facebook group members were vocal about their dissatisfaction with rumored politics surrounding the resignation.

Lorrie Stapleton, a parent of Greenwich High students said, “It's disheartening to think that politics can potentially de-rail the positive investments you have made in our children's future.”

Jeffrey Norton posted the email addresses of each member of the school board, urging people to send their feelings directly to them. Resident Pierce Butler, echoed many others in pleading for Freund to reconsider. “Greenwich and its children need you and want you to stay. Don’t be forced out by an out-of-control BOE,” he said.

Resident Paul Curtis had another suggestion. “Want to hold them accountable? Easy ... run against them. I would love to hear our current Board of Education members explain why they should be re-elected,” he wrote.

The next Board of Education meeting is Thursday, May 26, at 7 p.m. at Central Middle School. Resident Leslie Wyman Cooper urged parents to speak out against the resignation. “We MUST be heard,” she wrote.

Have you “liked” the “Bring Back Dr. Sidney Freund” page? What is your opinion on his resignation? Comment below or email ahelhoski@mainstreetconnect.us

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