So many of us have been long term, strong advocates and supporters of the Huntington School District and our shared community. That hasn’t changed, but, as safety issues at JAI continue to increase in proximity, numbers and severity, our growing concerns as citizens and parents can no longer be challenged. We have demonstrated our ability to be flexible, open-minded, communicators and collaborators with both our Board of Education and the Huntington Town Hall Board. Most of all, we have demonstrated an undying amount of patience in the hope that our collective efforts and concerns would be heard in order to create the safe, educational environment our children desperately need and deserve.
As we know, this has not happened.
Our hope is that the meetings in the coming weeks will outline immediate, actionable steps toward making the safety of our children a reality–not another plan, or discussion, or report, or committee to be formed. None of us will be surprised when Monday night’s Board of Education meeting adjourns and once again we find ourselves without answers and fulfillment of action. Again, we will be reminded that politics were chosen over the safety of our children.
We believe a “Sit Out”, (Keeping our children home from JAI, Flower Hill, Washington, Woodhull, Southdown and Jefferson), is THE most powerful demonstration to accomplish the most critical issues we are faced with:
1. Our children’s safety
2. We are no longer willing to be complacent–waiting for action and seeing no results
3. Break the cycle of control. The current cycle goes like this: There is a crime-related incident in our children’s school/community. We have a board meeting, concerns are expressed and we are told they share our concerns and they will be proposing solutions. We send our children to school and wait for solutions. Those solutions never materialize.
4. Put the school and town board in a position where they are forced to respond and come to the table with a resolution–something at the very least we can negotiate and say “Yes” or “No” to.
Effective Monday, April 12, 2010 our children will not attend school as another step to accomplish our goal of letting the leaders in the district and town know that their lack of concern/action is not acceptable and will no longer be tolerated. We realize there are many working parents and we’re happy to help however possible if you want to participate. The true impact of Monday’s Sit Out will only be realized if we have “Strength in numbers” behind it.
Meryl Otis Kessler
Huntington, New York