Below is the Lakewood Board of Education's official response, to the article that appeared on the Lakewood Scoop.
It was sent to TLS, yet Lazer Hasenfeld, owner and editor of that website REFUSED to post it or acknowledge it altogether.
Instead suggested that the BOE debate MI on these issues.
The public has a right to know that TLS is feeding them pure propaganda.
LAKEWOOD BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Lakewood Board of Education wishes to set the record straight because that article (which still appears on the site) is filled with misinformation, exaggerations and gross distortions of the truth. First, the “victory” to which the article refers involved a preliminary decision by an Administrative Law Judge that a preschool student should be educated, for the time being, in the program identified in his Individualized Education Plan, rather than in a different school during the ensuing litigation. While the article refers to a “victory” for the parents, the case is by no means over despite the suggestion in the article to the contrary. In fact, the case has not even been scheduled for trial. Moreover, the only reason that the District was proposing a different placement for the child was solely because the Department of Education, through the County Office, directed that the District no longer place students in that unapproved school.
The article also states that since that decision there have been countless lawsuits filed on behalf of classified and non-classified students in Lakewood. While it is true that the District is embroiled in a significant amount of litigation with these students, all of whom are represented by Mr. Inzelbuch, the fact remains that the District’s arguments have not been “categorically rejected.” In fact, no final decision has been rendered in any of those cases –most of which have not even gone to a trial on the merits. The suggestion that the District has lost those cases is patently false. Finally, the article states that there is a “change of direction on the horizon” for the Board because seventeen (17) students were approved at its August 9, 2013 meeting for placements in unapproved and sectarian programs. However, if the author had read the agenda item carefully, he/she would have seen that the Board was reapproving students in their current placements. Therefore, the Board of Education was simply ratifying and continuing the placements of the students listed on the agenda, which were made by the Board and/or Child Study team in prior years. In short, the Board of Education’s most valuable asset is its children, both public and non-public students alike. The Board is deeply committed to providing all children with the highest quality education possible in the appropriate setting. For the author to suggest otherwise is disingenuous, self-serving and insulting.