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Thread: Robert Bruno, Fired as a Local School Teacher

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    Forum All Star jombl's Avatar
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    Robert Bruno, Fired as a Local School Teacher

    Robert Bruno was a teacher in a local school district.

    Disturbingly, this is news to many. Our local school district board chairman, Bruno a former local school teacher, does not list this on his C.V., did not run his election campaign touting this fact, and does not make a point of speaking of it in public here in Glen Ellyn.

    Robert Bruno was fired from his position as a public school teacher in Westfield, New Jersey according to reports from March of 1986:

    The dismissal of a non-tenured Westfield teacher brought debate to the regular meeting of the Board of Education, Tuesday evening. The board deliberated in private on this and other personnel issues for more than an hour. Reasons for the decision were kept confidential, a standard policy of the board.

    (At the same board meeting...) Dr. Robert Petix read excerpts from the report on the evaluation of the Westfield school system by the Middle States Evaluation Committee. ... the entire Westfield program meets the needs of all students via quality teaching, an excellent extra-curricular program and because it is an organization that is willing to examine and improve itself. The program also praised the system for its good relations with the community, calling Westfield a city committed to excellence.The report claimed that Westfield was in the "enviable position of fine tuning a very good program."
    This would have been it, except that there was at that moment in Spring 1986 a hotly contested school board election featuring candidates variously aligned with the National Democratic Policy Committee, Republicans and separately a winning write-in candidate who had mistakenly missed the filing deadline. Bruno made himself an issue using a political argument and after the election with a new school board had his Union representative fight the dismissal. Protests were organized, people were brought in to speak before the new local school board and a pressure campaign was mounted.

    The board did not reverse the previous board's decision and by law and policy never divulged the details and basis; but the Union representative did reference the charges:


    Bruno was represented throughout the hearing by Ron Harvey, a New Jersey Education Association field representative (who) stated that his purpose was to attempt to get the board to reverse its decision....Harvey then took the major allegations against Bruno and asked the teacher to comment upon them. The defense focused on four complaints which prompted the administration to recommend not rehiring: the man himself; his lack of professionalism; an incident with a black student; and his involvement with an unauthorized student trip
    It was also discussed that his fellow teachers found him, amongst other things, "Flaky". Bruno was quoted as responding:

    "I think I have some interesting habits .. . but no, I'm not a flake." He added: "Politically I am very liberal - backed by a sound knowledge base."
    Perhaps just as interesting considering this last week's authoritarian wielding of his Chairman's bully stick of real power, is this:

    Allegations of non-professionalism were answered with the comment that "If a professional is someone who is told to obey without question, I'm very unprofessional" but that he felt in general he had cooperated fully with staff members and would be able, if re-hired, to work well again with them in spite of the recommendations that he not be retained.
    The board meeting was well orchestrated, he had a friendly reporter and his supporters in the galley and new members on the board speaking in support of his unconventional inconsistent methods, classroom politicization and (content that could be misconstrued). Not a single fellow teacher, tenured or not union member, spoke on his behalf. Not a one.

    Bruno denied any involvement with the out-of-state students, promised to work with the teachers that voted to fire him, and defended his character.

    Not a word was reported on what the "incident with the Black student" involved. What was the child specific firing offense?

    What we do know is that the Chairman of the Glen Ellyn D41 Board of Education was fired for, among numerous other considerable reasons, a serious incident with a student - a fact which he has hidden for decades and was as unknown to the electorate at large as it was to the board members that selected him as Chairman.
    Last edited by jombl; 07-15-2019 at 07:32 AM. Reason: copyedit

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    Forum All Star jombl's Avatar
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    You may recognize Westfield, the town Bruno has ridiculed as "ultra-conservative and composed primarily of white middle class professionals" with an "anachronistic socio-political philosophy" while bitterly deriding his former colleagues as "school volk" in writing during his period as a community college guidance counselor.

    Westfield is an affluent commuter town on the train line with good schools:












    Last edited by jombl; 07-14-2019 at 02:56 PM.

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    Forum Regular Wm. Schumacher's Avatar
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    Robert Bruno, Fired as a Local School Teacher

    This seems like a very deep corner of an internet closet; Iíve been Googling for 20+ minutes, and canít find anything on it - It clearly took you hours and hours of dedicated effort to find it. Can you share some of the links to the original materials? Iíd love to see all I can. He comes off as VERY liberal in your summary, but clearly he must have been a really awful educator; school boards donít let good people go merely because of political or ideological differences.

    -

    Sorry, found your link above. Some interesting quotes you left out of your misleading story:



    Lots of parent/student support, and an adversarial Board majority; NEVER seen the likes of it before...
    Last edited by Wm. Schumacher; 07-14-2019 at 05:40 PM.

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    Forum All Star jombl's Avatar
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    What possible excuse is there for a school board chairman to hide his history as a teacher and the firing buried within that history involving a student interaction of an unknown nature?

    Was it from the long list of offenses we see today?

    He was fired for an incident with a student. That's a betrayal of trust and position of monumental proportions. Why should anyone trust Bruno to explain this or justify it away now?

    Why not ask Bruno to sign a public release of the school board record of his firing?
    Last edited by jombl; 07-15-2019 at 07:34 AM. Reason: Same as before

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    Forum Regular Wm. Schumacher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jombl View Post
    DELETED
    Now, that IS offensive. Since the article says that he addressed all FOUR given reasons at the meeting, if it had been ANY of the offenses you suggestively offer, that would have been the principal reason (instead of: “especially his involvement with an unauthorized student trip to Washington”), and he certainly would not have been as roundly supported by the public as he was at the meeting, let alone given a standing ovation.



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    Forum Regular mamattorney's Avatar
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    What holds true in 1986 holds true today - you have first amendment rights as a private citizen, but no such rights are granted when you are working.

    I read a couple of these articles and got the gist of what happened in one of the letters to the editor. He was the sponsor of the Young Leftist Club. As a letter to the editor in the 06.19.86 Westfield Leader stated:

    "His chief offense against the status quo, it appears, was that he counseled a group of students called the Young Leftists. Under his guidance, these students protested aparthied in South Africa, and US nuclear arms policy; they visited soup kitchens to see how the other half lived; and they traveled to Washington to make their views known to their Congressman. The school administration tried to restrain the teacher from presenting his political viewpoint to this extra-curricular student group. They told him the club's activities should be confined to examining various points of view in a purely theoretical way. But, although he realized his job was on the line, the teacher believed that, once the students had weighed the alternatives and come to a conclusion, they should be encouraged to act on their convictions."

    Just too much political activity at work. He is protected by the first amendment as a private citizen, but the school board felt that he overstepped while wearing his teacher/club sponsor hat - including "encouraging" kids to miss school (unexcused) for political activity.
    http://www.digifind-it.com/westfield...1986-06-19.pdf

    It doesn't appear as nefarious as jombl is stating, but it seems he was warned that he could lose his job for his actions; he forged ahead . . . and he lost his jobs for his actions. Doesn't mean he was a bad teacher.

    But, unfortunately, it is proof that he'll knowingly flaunt rules for what he believes is right; which is not encouraging to me for his tenure as board president.

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    Forum All Star jombl's Avatar
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    He was fired ********* He hid this history.

    **********

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    Forum Regular mamattorney's Avatar
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    You know who has the answer to this? Robert Bruno. Send him an email and ask him directly.

    I said the same thing to Wm Schumacher during the election - stop asking Stephanie Clark questions on this message board and then complaining when she doesn't answer you. She has an email. Ask her directly.

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    Forum Regular Wm. Schumacher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamattorney View Post
    I said the same thing to Wm Schumacher during the election - stop asking Stephanie Clark questions on this message board and then complaining when she doesn't answer you. She has an email. Ask her directly.
    Ouch.


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    Forum All Star ackerman's Avatar
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    When Bruno ran for the board, I asked him questions about his previous teaching/education employment history. No answers from him on any email or facebook pages that he had. Not even a response. His backers, including Wm, don't know and don't care. Bruno wasn't the least bit transparent. If he gets asked hard questions about his firing,etc., it will be because he has tried to bury his past. If he had nothing to hide. then why hide it? And Wm, I'm not looking for your response to any of this.

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    Administrator Clamato's Avatar
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    We donít get this stuff in real time. Currently having dinner in the city with my kids. Will look at it in the morning. To the person who sent four ****ing complaints about this, chill out.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular Wm. Schumacher's Avatar
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    Wasn’t me.


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    Last edited by Clamato; 07-15-2019 at 07:10 AM. Reason: Correct. It was not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ackerman View Post
    When Bruno ran for the board, I asked him questions about his previous teaching/education employment history. No answers from him on any email or facebook pages that he had. Not even a response. .
    Maybe he didn't answer you for the same reason most people don't.......
    Last edited by Clamato; 07-15-2019 at 07:09 AM. Reason: Ad Hom Attack removed

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    Forum All Star jombl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jombl View Post
    He was fired f****** He hid this history.

    ************?
    Quote Originally Posted by mamattorney View Post
    You know who has the answer to this? Robert Bruno.

    I'm going to have to disagree.

    When a School Board Chairman is suddenly and out of the blue found to have been fired for an offense involving a student, a specific incident with a specific child, indeed a child that required a racial identification presumably because race itself was related to the firing offense, it requires a serious inquiry irregardless of whether Bruno remains in office or not.

    This is not 1986, and things that were brushed under the rug with a simple look the other way, move on to another job as guidance counselor, or return to college for a new degree, back then, are looked at very, very differently today.

    Teacher/student interaction is no longer seen in the same light as they were in the '80s.

    Times have changed dramatically. Here's a debate *********************


    That was just '93, in the '80s the boundaries were far wider... Melzer, BTW, retained his job and was not fired until this century.
    Last edited by admin; 07-15-2019 at 09:51 AM. Reason: blasting unrelated stuff as it gets even farther afield, leaving in Jombl's use of "presumably" as his CYA

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    Quote Originally Posted by jombl View Post
    I'm going to have to disagree.
    Interesting that you are hell bent on causing a lawsuit for Clamato when he doesn't even want to run this thing.
    ****d ask Dr. Bruno your questions personally?
    I would then be interested to hear the responses, although I think you would get the same reaction for the same reason as Ackerman.
    Last edited by admin; 07-15-2019 at 09:51 AM. Reason: ad hom removed

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