there has been a large amount of chatter on these threads about current radnor school board director brucie rapoport, who is running for reelection this year, so i thought it would be good to give rapoport her own thread.
from what ive learned, rapoport was an endorsed democrat for radnor school board in 2003 (she lost), was endorsed again by the democrats in 2005 (she won), and is endorsed by the dems again this year.
i watch the school board meetings, and rapoport usually doesnt say much - she just kinda sits there and blinks. however, as readers of this blog know, in 2007, rapoport, in her support of artificial turf, went bonkers in a big bad way -
Radnor Official Belittles West Philly School
A member of Radnor's School Board recently insulted a University of Pennsylvania-sponsored school in University City by falsely claiming it is located among drive-by shootings, crack houses and drug shooting parents.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
By: Jim McCaffrey
By Jim McCaffrey
Radnor - A member of Radnor's School Board recently insulted a University of Pennsylvania-sponsored school in University City by falsely claiming it is located among drive-by shootings, crack houses and drug shooting parents.
The highly-inflammatory statements were written in an e-mail addressed to the other members of the Radnor School Board.
Brucie Rapoport, a first-term Democrat board member, was arguing for the installation of artificial turf at the Wayne Middle School.
Like everything else having to do with the new middle school, the administration's proposal to install artificial turf is highly controversial and opposed by many in the Radnor community.
A presentation by the environmental firm of Cahill and Associates noted the successful drainage system it installed for the grass playground at the Penn Alexander School, 42nd and Spruce streets, in West Philadelphia.
Ms. Rapoport issued an e-mail response for board members to the Cahill presentation, In it she states the company "failed to explain the circumstances that have caused the grass field at the Alexander (elementary) school [in] West Philadelphia to remain grass and not turn into hay. It is most likely the only grassy field within a couple of miles. It therefore is probably tended to with kid gloves. That tending may very well likely include the application of man-made CHEMICALS [sic], including PESTICIDES[sic], and HERBICIDES [sic]. When you live in that neighborhood where drive-by shootings are daily happenings, who cares about death by something that is sprayed on the grass to kill weeds and bugs? The most important thing there is to get those kids outside to play so they aren't wandering around crack houses or watching their parents shoot up. There is absolutely no comparison whatsoever between that field and what is planned for RMS! Cahill was blowing his own horn. Pure and simple."
The University City neighborhood where Penn Alexander Elementary School is located is one of the most heavily gentrified areas of the city. Asking prices for homes there are frequently above $400,000.
Ms. Rapoport, in an interview yesterday, claimed she checked with the "director of landscaping at the Philadelphia School District" about the use of chemicals on the field. In fact, the University of Pennsylvania maintains the field and, according to School Prinicipal Sheila Sydnor, it is just watered and cut. It is not chemically treated.
The Penn Alexander school is 48 percent African American, 28 percent white, 13 percent Asian, and 6 percent Latino. It has 492 students and a 95 percent attendance. 79 percent of tested students are above the national average in reading and 68 percent are above the national average in math. The University of Pennsylvania supplements the district's funding with a yearly donation of $1,000 per student.
The crime rate in the neighborhood is considered low in the city.
Clark Park, a nine-acre city owned area of spacious fields and more than 300 trees, a home to a weekly farmers market and performances by theater groups and the Philadelphia Orchestra, is two blocks away from the school.
Ms. Rapoport called her statements "hyperbole to get my point across." She claimed there is crime in the neighborhood.
"It is a wonderful place," she conceded. "But I wouldn't feel comfortable without parents supervising children on the playground." She then admitted she wouldn't feel comfortable without parents supervising children on the playground in Radnor either.
"I've driven through those neighborhoods and I've seen drug deals [being made]," she claimed. "I may be mistaken about that neighborhood but it was definitely in the neighborhoods bordering that neighborhood."
Ms. Rapoport admitted there is drug dealing in Radnor, too.
"I have a friend who happens to be black who is involved in the [A Better Chance Scholarship] program who agrees with me," she insisted. "I am sorry for [pointing to] that neighborhood. I should have said in those surrounding neighborhoods. It was wrong to say that neighborhood. I never ever intended to be prejudiced. I am not a racist. You have to put it in perspective. This was political propaganda writing to make a point."
Her e-mail comes at a time when African-American parents are demonstrating their continuing concern over their perception of racial disparity and discrimination in Main Line school systems.
The Concerned Black Parents of Lower Merion last month filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination in Lower Merion classrooms and discrimination has been a persistent complaint in Radnor, one of the wealthiest communities in the Philadelphia suburbs.
i didnt think it was possible for a person to appear racist, dishonest, stupid, ignorant, snobby, and confused in the same news story, but rapoport gets a ‘dishonorable mention’ ribbon for pulling it off!
as expected, the public was outraged, and the president of the radnor democratic party, bruce bikin, wrote a letter to the editor of the main line life, and smashed rapoport to smithereens -
To The Editor:
Recent e-mail comments by a certain Democratic school board member have become widely disseminated due to their unfortunate and remarkably insensitive nature. This letter is to publicly and completely disavow by the Radnor Democratic Party the thoughts (if any were involved) and the values she expressed therein.
We are shocked and appalled that someone elected through significant efforts on our part would privately hold, let alone publicly express, such bigoted, hurtful words. Those words do not represent the values or the ideals in which we believe and strive to attain in our public officials and our own personal lives. We reject them totally and completely as antithetical to our core values and beliefs.
We believe the school board member owes the community a public apology, at the very least.
Bruce H. Bikin Chair, Radnor Democratic party
i have seen bikin speak at public meetings (including the dave bashore termination hearing), and he seems to have good values, and is very smart and articulate, and i completely agree with the comments in his letter. with that said, i am very confused why rapoport got the 2009 endorsement by the democrats for the 2009 election if their president thinks she is ‘antithetical to our core values and beliefs’. it makes no sense!
but its not just the radnor democratic party - the public at large doesnt seem to like rapoport at all. here is a snippet from a letter to the editor that i found, that was written by a wayne resident
It is clear that Mrs. Rapoport is either racially biased with preconceived notions about certain areas and people or, at the very least, is out of touch with the real world. In any case, an individual such as this certainly has no place on our school board, or any other board for that matter. To compound matters, our illustrious school board president Kathy Fisher has appointed this person as the liaison to the diversity committee. What is going on?
Mrs. Rapoport, the next thing we hear from you should be your resignation from our school board. Mrs. Fisher, for the love of all that is decent you need to do the same thing: resign from the board. To the entire school board, how can you sit there and allow this to go on? What is wrong with all of you?
my question is simple - why is an unprincipled and unpopular candidate like brucie rapoport running again for school board as an endorsed democrat, and why would radnor residents continue to let rapoport enjoy an extraordinary position of authority, given the public record regarding her?