Letter to the Editor: Walter Weidenbacher

Weidenbacher issues rebuttal to previous letter from another resident which addressed his first letter on the topic of school board members and curricula.

Dear Fellow Haddonfielders, 

Addressing Chris Higgins’ 8/4 letter only because he addressed me personally, saying he had read my 7/19 letter “with great interest,” but apparently without comprehending any point I made, according to his questions.

I’m gratified that he didn’t rebut a single thing I said, instead, spilling much ink on tired institutional talking point assurances that all is well. Nonetheless, it appears I need to say it again, more thoroughly, in two installments, one now and one hopefully next week.

Mr. Higgins pretends to challenge me by “surmising” that I “perceived” something I had not. Example: that the junior class gift was a “thin edge of the wedge.” A second reading will help. 

I accurately identified the junior class gift as a tell-tale SYMPTOM of possible political indoctrination. Hence my call to recognize our past carelessness (my Pogo reference) and to now initiate a meaningful inquiry into the management of our schools, in terms of competence and reliable oversight. (So many say “transparency, transparency.”) 

Unpleasant to hear, and unpleasant to say.  But do we not need to face up to our responsibilities more diligently and look at what’s happening? The folly of putting faith in institutions and their attendant bureaucracies is becoming increasingly obvious. It is especially apparent now that we’ve gotten a closer look at what’s being taught in our schools, thanks to the burst of online schooling and thanks to the national outrage over questionable curricula being taught elsewhere, and perhaps—only perhaps—here. 

Also sad to hear, consider the uncontested fact that roughly 5 percent of all teachers nationally are deemed “incompetent,” and that our district responds with vagueries and with an unhelpfully vague printed curriculum, both of which bolster the suspicion that our district is no exception to the rule. Parents and residents just want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; plus the feeling that we’re getting it. 

That said, bottom line, I’m simply asking a common question, “Who’s minding the store?” Any good answers forthcoming? 

Walter Weidenbacher

Haddonfield, N.J.