Courtesy of Sean Crowley at the B-LoEdScene blog, Larry Quinn made an ass of himself during a recent Buffalo Board of Education visit to the beleaguered Lafayette High School. Carl Paladino, of all people, comported himself professionally and respectfully, and stayed after the visit to try and smooth things over, leading to an unexpected thank you call from the Buffalo teachers’ union boss, Phil Rumore.
Quinn was reportedly dismissive and rude to teachers and staff at the school, and Crowley contrasted Paladino’s reputation with Quinn’s,
…now that we’ve seen Quinn’s petulance — saying of the faculty “I only came here as a favor to Carl I didn’t want to meet with these clowns” his disdain for working people, calling teacher leader Pat Foster “an idiot” you can be sure Larry will make some half hearted obligatory attempt to reign in his tongue. But we all know better. A guy like Quinn is not going to negotiate these waters with grace or skill. He’s going to be spending a lot of time out of his boat getting bounced around in the rapids. The peek he gave Buffalonians of his true self at Lafayette is just the beginning of Larry Quinn’s unraveling. Carl tried to apologize away Quinn’s boorish antics when pressed about it by a news reporter. He admitted Quinn was rude and unprofessional in his dealings with school officials and teachers. He then tried to slip a card from his sleeve hoping nobody would notice describing the performance as “a bad hair day.” He should have said “That’s just Larry Being Larry.”
and from the News’ account,
Teachers also said Quinn acknowledged attending the meeting only out of respect for Paladino, who had asked him to come, and even said to Paladino, “Why would I want to go there and talk to those clowns?” He also reportedly referred to a teacher and BTF representative who had left the room as an “idiot.”
Finally, Quinn questioned [Principal Naomi P.]Cerre’s leadership in front of her staff, pointing out that the district clearly has qualms about her leadership since the administration did not grant her tenure this year, instead only offering her an extension of her probation.
Even Carl Paladino was embarrassed,
Paladino, however, did not disagree with Rumore’s account of what transpired and agreed that Quinn’s behavior was “rough” and “harsh.”
“It wasn’t pretty,” said Paladino, who described Quinn’s behavior as an exercise in self-induced frustration. He added that Quinn’s remarks were not badly intended and chalked up his behavior to “having a bad hair day.”
After Quinn left, Paladino said, he stayed behind and worked to smooth over hurt feelings. That earned him a thank-you call from Rumore – a first-of-its-kind event for two men with a history of animosity.
Paladino said he was so surprised to hear from Rumore that he initially thought someone was pulling a prank on him and demanded to know if it was really the BTF president on the phone.
Rumore said he was genuinely appreciative that Paladino listened to Lafayette’s presentation in a thoughtful and open-minded manner.
What bizarro world is this?
“He actually was there to listen,” he said, “and the teachers felt he was really interested in what they had to say.”
Wha? After the News pressed Quinn on the matter, he gave a classic ‘sorry, not sorry’.
“If I offended anybody, then I was probably stupid because I know we’ve got a big fight on our hands with people who don’t want to change anything,” Quinn said. “So it’s my fault. My point is, I should be smarter than that.”
Well, you were elected to be smarter than that, so your conclusion is spot-on. You were elected to be a trustee for the school district, and these people may be answerable to you, and they may be employees of the entity you serve, but they’re fallible human beings who are doing their best under difficult circumstances. One thing they probably don’t need is a preening, monied, rookie know-it-all to tell them all how badly they all suck, and how they’re all idiots.
Quinn signed up for a job that puts him in the same damn boat as all of those teachers, students, and administrators. If he doesn’t like they way others are rowing, then he should take the oars himself.