Monroe-Woodbury Board of Education member criticized for remarks about Newburgh

A Monroe-Woodbury Board of Education member is facing scrutiny for an insensitive comment he made about Newburgh students while talking about a competitive school activity involving shotguns.

Blaise Gomez

Oct 14, 2022, 4:51 PM

Updated 583 days ago

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A Monroe-Woodbury Board of Education member is facing scrutiny for an insensitive comment he made about Newburgh students while talking about a competitive school activity involving shotguns.  
School officials say trustee Donald Beeler was heard saying, "Newburgh is extremely good at this," during a board meeting Wednesday night – days after three people were hurt in a shooting at Newburgh Free Academy. 
Board members were talking about whether interested students should be allowed to join Minisink’s skeet team, which uses shotguns to shoot at clay targets. 
Monroe-Woodbury Board of Education President Michael Ciriello issued a statement to News 12 saying, "His remark in no way reflects the thoughts and opinions of this Board of Education and district leadership. This type of behavior is unacceptable and will be addressed. On behalf of the Board of Education, I sincerely apologize to the entire Newburgh community."  
The Newburgh school district declined to comment on the remarks.
The Monroe-Woodbury Teachers Union wrote a letter demanding sanctions and a public apology from Beeler. 
The trustee reached out by email saying, “At the school board meeting on October 12th, I made an insensitive and inappropriate comment. I sincerely apologize for my comment. The remark in no way was meant to hurt or embarrass any school district or its students.”


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