Public schools

Brickbat: Intemperate Talk


Linden, New Jersey, Mayor Derek Armstead has apologized for making disparaging remarks about Hasidic Jews. In a secretly recorded conversation between Armstead and local Board of Education President Marlene Berghammer, Berghammer said, "If it's in a neighborhood school district, it should be, we don't mind if it is a black person or a Haitian-speaking person." Armstead replies, "That is what has to happen in order to keep our community from being taken over by guys with big hats and curls," an apparent reference to the city's growing Hasidic Jewish population. Armstead apologized for the remarks but said it is part of an extortion scheme: The comments were first revealed in a $950,000 lawsuit brought by former assistant superintendent Paul Oliveira, who claims he was forced to leave his job for opposing a scheme to keep Jews from being hired.