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Home Schools Rye Schools Board of Ed LETTER: BOE Candidate "Disappointed" with Publication of Gaouad Letter

LETTER: BOE Candidate “Disappointed” with Publication of Gaouad Letter

In a letter to MyRye.com, Board of Education candidate John Leonard expresses disappointment with MyRye.com’s publication of the letter from Zachary Moulaye Gaouad (RHS ’19).

Leonard’s letter:

Rye BOE Race 2021 John Leonard 2
John Leonard

I am deeply disappointed that you saw fit to publish Mr. Gaouad’s letter today. The incident on May 12, if true — and if not created by a supporter of his theses to inflame passions — is indeed reprehensible. However, to allege that it ‘proves that as a school district, Rye is so far from achieving excellence and equality’, and that it is ‘a hate crime undertaken by our own Rye students’ is deeply unfair to the many fair-minded citizens, students, teachers and administrators of Rye. Is there indeed group guilt for an errant individual?

In particular, I find his use of group stereotypes objectionable. They have a long and unhappy history, whether reflected in the theory that an American citizen of Japanese heritage was ipso facto a security risk that required internment, or the analysis that a ‘bourgeois’ background automatically rendered an individual unfit to be a good Marxist. There are other examples.

I would refer readers to the responses that all eight candidates submitted to your questionnaire with respect to the issues Mr. Gaouad raises. I believe there is unanimity that bias, discrimination, use of group stereotypes, bullying, and lack of respect for others or differing ideas have no place in a free society. Race and ethnicity are certainly two of the potential areas where these issues arise, but by no means the only significant ones. The voters should consider whether the District’s approach to date has been the right one.

The fair-minded members of the Rye community deserve a retraction.

Best regards


John Leonard


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