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Calls for School Board Candidate-Elect to Resign for Comment on Sandy Hook Facebook Post

Comment voicing a pro-gun sentiment on Sandy Hook anniversary post has stirred up calls for Greg Beck to step down.

Board of Education candidate-elect Gregory Beck. Photo Credit: Aaron Boyd
Board of Education candidate-elect Gregory Beck. Photo Credit: Aaron Boyd
A Brookfield Party (ABP) candidate-elect for the Board of Education (BOE) Greg Beck’s comment on a Facebook link to a Newtown Patch post about the anniversary of the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary has led to calls for Beck to step down before taking office — calls from residents, outgoing BOE members and local Republican leadership.

In the comment, in reference to a post asking readers to practice 26 Days of Kindness, Beck wrote, “I shall buy my friends who are gun enthusiasts a box of ammunition on days 1-26.”

The comment [see above] was removed Tuesday afternoon.

The Republican Town Committee (RTC) released a statement Tuesday night asking for Beck’s resignation.

“The Brookfield Republican Town Committee strongly condemns the statements made by Greg Beck on Facebook on 11/19/13 and requests that he step down from the Board of Education in light of making them,” according to the statement sent from RTC Secretary Matt Grimes and Cc’d to Chairman Marty Flynn and Vice Chairman Greg Dembowski.

Beck said Tuesday night that he would issue a statement on Wednesday.

ABP Chairman Rob Gianazza defended the candidate on Patch while condemning the comment as a mistake.

“Greg made a Facebook post expressing his frustration at the anti-gun antagonists, not at the people of Newtown,” Gianazza wrote. “Does Greg owe an explanation of his post and to own it? You bet, and I will encourage him to do just that. Will I ask him to step down? Not in this lifetime.”

A post on by Glenn Brown on the Brookfield Patch Speak Out board asked if Beck should be responsible for Brookfield children and linked to another post stating that he should be removed from office.

“I think it displays a serious lack of judgment,” poster Ignorance_is_Dangerous commented, “one so major that it does call into question if he is someone we want representing the views and sentiments of Brookfield — specifically regarding children & education.”

Outgoing BOE Chairman Ray DiStephan called the comment, “absolutely inexcusable,” twice, using all caps the second time.
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Read more comments on the Brookfield Patch Speak Out board.
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Robert Gianazza November 20, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Greg did NOT post his infamous post on the 26 Days of Kindness page intentionally. This is the problem with Facebook. You reply on a friends page and the post goes back to the source. I'm not making excuses, he should never have made that post, he also should have had a better handle on where his comment would have eventually landed. None of us have seen the post he was replying to. We don't know the intended context. The fact remains he made the statement. He needs to apologize to the people who were offended by it, even if it was unintentional. As for the haters, think about this, what rational or even irrational person would go to the 26 Days of Kindness page and make that post? Do you really think there is a human being alive that could be that intentionally insensitive?
Jeff Albarn November 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM
Can we at least agree that the post was inappropriate and disrespectful in response to a "26 Days of Kindness" entry? It shows poor judgement, lack of respect for boundaries and clear ineptitude. When elected to be a public official, your words and presence are as an agent of the Town - so please conduct accordingly. I may have to run for office, this is getting very frustrating!
Adele Friedman November 20, 2013 at 11:12 AM
Sadly, Rob, there is NOTHING so distasteful that someone, somewhere would not post it on the internet somewhere. If only to make trouble, stir the pot. Trolls exist. They don't live under bridges anymore; cyberspace is their habitat.
Robert Gianazza November 20, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Great idea Jeff. With so much hate being directed at elected officials, I wonder how many will consider running for elected office in the future? How much of our personal privacy are we willing to give up? And remember the great compensation we get. All the positions are volunteer except for the selectman positions and Town Treasurer. I can see candidates lining up now for 2015.
Michael G November 20, 2013 at 11:15 AM
Rob, you just keep digging a deeper and deeper hole with your continued defense and excuses. There is no context that is necessary for the remark. It was insensitive, immature, and entirely inappropriate. What makes it worse is that it came from someone who has been elected to be an advocate for Brookfield's schoolchildren. Quite frankly your "explanations" are arguably worse. First you excuse it by telling us he is a first responder, now you are saying it's out of context, then you tell us we should all just get over Sandy Hook and not talk about it every five minutes. I find your words equally despicable as the original comments. Free speech is a very valuable asset, but just because you have that right doesn't always mean it's smart to exercise it. As the leader of A Brookfield Party, it would be refreshing to see you take a stand and condemn the actions of your party's nominee rather than to keep making weak excuses and inflammatory statements.
Robert Gianazza November 20, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Michael, I have not and will not make excuses. I am stating facts. Facts you choose to ignore. You cherry pick parts of quotes without context. I did condemn his post. I said I was opposed to people using the Newtown tragedy as an excuse to further their personal agendas. If you are going to post and exercise your free speech, at least get the information correct. Or are you attempting to push your own hateful agenda? Here's another fact... Ray DiStephen is the Board of Education Chairman, a known official, he got the least amount of votes in the election for the Board of Education. Even less than his virtually unknown running mate. Greg got the second most votes, trailing Harry Shaker for Board of Education.
Michael G November 20, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Rob - and what hateful agenda might I have that you refer to? That sounds like a pretty inflammatory statement to me. I found your remarks offensive, particularly the quote in the News Times where you said "It's time to let this tragedy go. It's painful, it hurts. Let's stop bringing it up every five minutes." This has nothing to do with any agenda, that statement is wildly insensitive as well. This was all in the context of the idea that 26 acts of kindness would honor the murdered schoolchildren and educators. I hope you never have to know what it feels like to have your six year old child murdered or know someone that has done through this. This conversation has nothing to do with imaginary agendas or election results, you are the one bringing that into it.
Verified November 20, 2013 at 11:36 AM
This is getting utterly disgusting. I am so sick and tired of reading all these back and forth comments. Using this as one own's battleground is not the proper use. It looks like we have elected some wrong choices this year - what can we do to get it right?
Jeff Albarn November 20, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Robert - I am not so sure it is "hate" being directed at the current lot of characters in so much as it is the Patch posters holding the feet of the elected caretakers of our Town to the fire. First Selectman-Elect willfully withholding potential character damaging litigation; Current Selectman allegedly removing signs, Superintendents pilfering tax revenue with an excessive compensation package when there are still temporary buildings in place of permanent classrooms, and now Mr. Peck with his thoughtless comment. What's next?
myopinion November 20, 2013 at 12:07 PM
These posts are making me sick. I'm so ashamed to be a part of this town right now. Excuse me while I go throw up. Look out people the tea party fungalmentalist radical a-holes have come to Brookfield. And yes I did mean to type fungal...
David Propper November 20, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Rob, as Beck's party leader, you have power the rest of us do not. You can condemn in words or condemn in action. So what will it be? Talk or walk?
Josh November 20, 2013 at 12:27 PM
The harsh reality is that as an elected official you ARE an open book. Anything you say or do and any fact that you try to keep hidden can and will be discovered and come to light. That's a tough reality for a young 20 year old to face. My view is that when a person chooses to run for elected office one of the trade offs they need to be willing to make for the right to a position of power, authority and responsibility is an understanding that they NO longer will be able to have a private personal opinion if that opinion is not kept private. When an elected person publicly states an opinion or acts in ways that indicate his views he has to understand that these are NO longer merely private views. As all sides have stated, at a minimum an explanation and apology is both expected and required in response to his inappropriate, inopportune and thoughtless public comment.
H. Ferguson November 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM
I am more concerned about publicly keeping this tragedy continually in the minds of those affected by it. The grieving process has a series of steps that these parents , families and first responders have to go through. "26 Days of Kindness" is a positive outlook -- but don't we all try to do that anyway, everyday? By linking this to the Newtown tragedy, I am concerned that we never let these people move to the next step in their grieving process. They are perpetually stuck in day one. Let's give them their space.
Jonathan Williams November 20, 2013 at 01:43 PM
@Robert G... I think most of us are in agreement that Alex S. would definitely be that intentionally insensitive. Mr. Beck needs to understand that Facebook is a great and dangerous thing and we all should move on.
Robert Gianazza November 20, 2013 at 01:54 PM
I don't know Alex S., but I sincerely hope that isn't true. There are degrees of insensitivity. There are some things you just don't joke about, like the Holocaust. I would think that the Newtown tragedy would fall into that same category. Please, I am not drawing a parallel, I'm just saying somethings just aren't done.
William Bresnahan November 20, 2013 at 03:01 PM
So Robert Gianazza says we should move on.. Tell me Bob if a crazed legal gun owner came to your kids school and killed your kid and a bunch of others would you "just move on" ? Almost from the start people like you and your buddy Beck have been telling the parents to "just move on" or " to put in the past" BULL! Those parents have a right to harass the crap out of all gun owners until those gun owners grow up and admit that morons should not be allowed to own guns. Other countries have solved their gun problems now its our turn..
Alabaster Jones November 20, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Nice to see that Grimes & Co. took a stand calling for his resignation over an insensitive Facebook post. While insensitive, it doesn't break any laws like Mr. Tinsley allegedly did. Of the two matters, one is clearly more serious, but no outrage from the RTC. Are you guys still just stunned that Tinsley hid this from you? Or did you know of these allegations and are stunned silent that we found out? Seriously, just own the mistake and step down. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone has been elected to town government.
Pokeno Ridge November 20, 2013 at 08:49 PM
This is a KID. Who made a hugely insensitive stupid mistake and has apologized. We aren't firing Davidson for stealing signs or Tinsley for stealing money, why are people clamoring a person's poor attempt at a joke? I find his comments apprehensive and atrocious, but I feel the same way about Mein Kampf and that isn't banned in this country. He has a right to an opinion just as much as you do, the difference is you have a choice to vote him out next election.
myopinion November 20, 2013 at 08:57 PM
We don't need kids on the BOE. We need adults. Mature adults capable of thinking and making good decisions. He can't. He needs to do the right thing for the children of Brookfield, realize he's not up to the job and step down. We don't want him.
Pokeno Ridge November 20, 2013 at 11:07 PM
You have a kid such as the current first selectman tearing down signs during an "acrimonious" political campaign. Are we going to grab candidates from the senior center since apparently no one in Brookfield under 70 can lead the town effectively?
Jeff Albarn November 21, 2013 at 09:59 AM
Is he a "kid"? Isn't he 26 years old?
Bobby Caselnova November 21, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Will, nobody has the right to harass gun owners just because someone they know got shot. None of us did it and we're sick of being told to give up our rights and compromise our safety because of something someone else did, especially when we know it won't solve anything. And I don't think you can find too many legal gun owners who think "morons" as you said should own guns. You really have no sense of reality at all. And to the anonymous coward who called me a psychopath, based on what? That I'm sick of guns and gun owners being demonized for what a few crazies do once in a rare while? Guess I'm guilty as charged then. The real psychopaths are the people who have hated guns for a long time and were always looking for a way to get the votes to infringe our rights, then the second this shooting happened they jumped on the opportunity. Those are the sick people, not those of us saying "leave us alone!" Some people can't handle driving cars without killing people. Does that mean nobody should drive, or does that mean we restrict only those dangerous people from the privalege? And driving isn't even protected under our federal and state Constitutions. If you don't like guns that's your business, but if I'm ever caught in a situation I want to have my firearm and I don't want to be breaking any meaningless, useless, and unconstitutional laws by having it. That's also how a lot of others across the country feel and they have the right to. It's a matter of safety. See, we all want the same thing, safety. It's just that we disagree on how to get there. You anti-gunners think passing some laws will make guns, legal and illegal, magically disappear and we will live in utopia. Those of us who are pro-gun ownership are a little more realistic and we realize that will NEVER happen so we prepare as much as we can. Remember, only people willing to follow laws will follow laws. Taking a gun out of my hands isn't going to save anyone's life but it could cost me mine or my family's. Who do you think is going to follow these BS laws? People like me who have no intention or hurting anyone. You just need to wake up and see reality for what it is. Even most law enforcement officers across the country know damn well that gun control doesn't work and that a well armed public is the best thing for public safety. How come I've never heard of a mass shooting at a gun show? The cowards who do those things pick easy targets where they know they'll be the only one with a gun until the cops show up (good guys with guns) then they kill themselves knowing it's over. What if someone right there, on the spot pulled out a gun? Then it's over faster with fewer casualties. Do some research on it, and not from the Brady campaign or some other garbage group like that. I'm not saying ask the NRA either; neutral, unbiased sources should back up what I'm saying quite well.
Guido Tuozzolo November 21, 2013 at 11:46 PM
what did Ronald Reagan say about people owning assault weapons ?
Bobby Caselnova November 22, 2013 at 08:34 AM
Who cares what he said? Are you going to tell me to start praying to Ronald Reagan every night from now on? He was a good president fiscally, that's all I'll give him.
Robert Gianazza November 22, 2013 at 09:43 AM
So Guido, what exactly is an "Assault Weapon"? Can you define this for everyone?
L.A. November 22, 2013 at 10:12 AM
Oh my!!! What an idiot!!! Let's vote again. We don't want IDIOTS to run our town.
Steven R DeVaux November 25, 2013 at 07:06 AM
They have for the last four years.
JM November 25, 2013 at 09:47 AM
Steven, go easy on your friend Robin Appleby. He's always sticking up for you.
David Pearson November 26, 2013 at 08:12 PM
Living in Norwalk, I've been following this thread for a few days. This story's not about gun rights, not about who's for and who's against. Nor is it about political party infighting in Brookfield. It's about a guy who made a thoughtless, heartless comment directly connected to a local tragedy. He would not have made his comment if there wasn't a '26 days of kindness' activity going around. For him to use that as his launching pad is shameful, and it took critical feedback for him to realize that? Thanksgiving is right around the corner, the first since the massacre, and friends of mine in Newtown don't need to have comments like his in their minds and hearts. I'll accept his apology once he goes the next step: have a long look in the mirror and resign from the BOE position. The students, parents and community deserve better.
David Pearson November 26, 2013 at 09:40 PM
p.s. Just read this on Newtown's FB page, which is what their 26 acts of kindness is all about (and G.Beck had the gall to make his comment based on what Newtown's message is?) "We Are Newtown ‪#‎26ActsOfKindness‬ ‪#‎WeAreNewtown‬ From Erica: I work in Times Square, today I brought a bouquet of flowers to one of the workers in Starbucks and told her it was in memory of the 26 children and teachers whose lives were lost. I told her I wanted nothing in return but asked of her to please pass along the kind act to some random person. She laughed and said that wouldn't be hard as there are many random people throughout the city. This put a huge smile on my face as I hope it does yours!"

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