On Monday, the Inquirer carried a thoughtfully written article by Terry Tracy of Broad and Liberty about the Abington School Board and the current controversy with regard to comments by one of the members. Tracy saw the opportunity for healing in the midst of the division and called on Abington to behave differently than we usually see in such civic meetings.

I attended the school board meeting on Tuesday, February 5 and what I witnessed was exactly the kind of meeting that Tracey had hoped would unfold. Unfortunately, the Inquirer as well as 6ABC portrayed it in sound bites (using such inaccurate and hyped-up words such as “roiled”) and, while not exactly distorting what happened, left enough out of the reporting to make it appear as though the meeting was quite the opposite of what it was.

The president of the school board was calm and in control throughout, emphasizing that everyone would have the right to speak.

Neither the Inquirer or 6ABC mentioned various concerns expressed by quite a number of African-American residents, including students.

Dr. Klaiman received more support and appreciation that would have been imagined given the volatile nature of the controversy. While it’s true that the Abington Chief Malloy received a standing ovation from many in attendance, some of the residents were critical of his decision to take his case to controversial talk show host, Dom Giordono.

There were words of appreciation for the police as well as words of criticism for the police. There were words of appreciation for Dr. Klaiman as well as words of criticism for her. Regardless of opinion, decorum as maintained because people were listened to with respect.

It is disheartening to witness something first hand, to come away seeing a community working hard all around to bring unity and healing, then to read the portrayal of the same meeting through the eyes of local media.

Marguerite Sexton

Philadelphia, PA (formerly Abington)

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