Greenburgh's Ross Reassigned Following Lawsuit Charging Sexism, Racism

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Ronald O. Ross
Ronald O. Ross Photo Credit: Courtesy of Greenburgh Central 7

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Dr. Ronald Ross has been reassigned from his position at Greenburgh Schools superintendent, effectively immediately, following a vote by the district's Board of Education at a special meeting on Monday night.

The move comes after several faculty and staff members, including a principal and the human resources director, filed a lawsuit charging racial, religious and sexual harassment by Ross.

"This situation has greatly affected the district, our community, but most importantly our children," Board President Lloyd Newland said in a statement. "It has eclipsed what really matters to us -- the success and academic achievement of our students.

"The Board has voted to place Mr. Ross on administrative reassignment and will await the outcome of the hearing of the charges filed against him. We can now turn our focus to our children and this school district."

Ross had served as principal at Woodlands High School before becoming superintendent in 2012.

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The most basic problem with charges, investigations and discipline in public schools is the restriction requiring personnel matters to be addressed in "executive session" rather than in a public forum. Unless someone knows with certainty the precise nature of the issues or charges involving Ross, to say he should automatically be suspended without pay is wrong. On the other hand, the law is SO one sided that even a teacher or administrator convicted of certain types of felonies continues to receive their salary and benefits until they are removed via the still ridiculous (albeit improved) 3020-a process. THAT's ABSURD! A middle ground would be that any employee charged either administratively (civilly/internally) or by prosecutors (criminally/externally) for any conduct that involves "moral turpitude," as well as for any felony, other than that of a domestic nature, would be suspended without pay. If the employee is ultimately exonerated, they would then be entitled to back pay. Currently, school teachers and administrators, at least in NY, have perhaps the greatest job protection and security in the U.S. Yes, they are entitled to due process and fairness, but not to a guaranteed job for life (post tenure) unless convicted of a felony or they are so grossly incompetent for such an extended period of time that they can barely function, let alone teach.

Regardless of the seriousness of the transgression(s), the charges have yet to be verified either by the BOE or a Court and residents should consider responses within the "innocent until proven guilty" context. Suspension is not termination and any employee is entitled to receive a paycheck until such a conclusion is effected. Mortgage payments, food and gas are not suspended. Nevertheless with continuance of paychecks on the table, this should "inspire" the BOE to rule quickly and publicly. There is nothing to prevent seeking the return of such proceeds after the fact (even if new legal action is required) or issuing them "provisionally": either course being fair to both parties.

However, I am intrigued more by the silence of Town Supervisor Feiner. That the School District is not under his jurisdiction has never stopped him from issuing press releases before. Even those with short term memory loss may remember that it was just a few weeks back that Feiner was in the press and all over the Fairview Fire District (another entity over which Feiner has no jurisdiction) and crying anti-semitism and proposing a visit to the Holocaust Museum. How come he isn't speaking regarding these allegations and suggesting that Ross attend a screening of "12 Years a Slave"?

Why are education adminstrators allowed to continue collecting their salaries while their cases are being investigated? Ross should be suspended without pay. The man obviously has problems dealing with his underlings, and is causing major problems also for the students of the Greenburgh schools district.

Not to mention that the BOE is waiting for for the outcome of the hearing regarding the lawsuit?? What bunk. The school district has a responsibility to bring in a 3rd party and conduct it's own investigation. The lawsuit may not have legs in court but that surly doesn't mean the allegations aren't true. As usual, the sleeping sheep of Greenburgh are buying this load the BOE is selling and not demanding Ross be suspended pending the District's probe.

he should resign now and never be allowed in Education, anywhere

Typical government. A gov't employee can murder someone in cold blood and still keep the gov't job and cushy pension.

Reassigned? Not good enough. It is reported on News12 that the reassignment is due to pending a hearing on disciplinary charges filed against him in March. There has already been an investigation by the BOE , allegations unknown, and the report is secret. Are these different complaints? Why is the BOE keeping the public in the dark? Complaints are numerous and registered by many people including well regarded staff. There is something very wrong with the community and the BOE continuing to support Ross. YES! Despite the complaints, members of the COMMUNITY have been party to shielding the public from information and supporting the BOE in their inaction against Ross. Oh, and, where is Mr. Stick His Nose Where It Doesn't Belong Feiner? Seems like he is only interested in slurs directed towards him when he doesn't get his way. No outrage? Of course not. The fish stinks from the head.