Chastise only the Prep culprits
To the Editor:
Although right on target, Rudy Costello’s letter (“Unfair to Fairfield Prep” Conn. Post, June 14, 2018) was missing one key point.
Those students who were not part of the so-called “Bomb Squad,” who worked hard for four years and made it to graduation from a fine preparatory institution, along with their parents, should not have been subjected to a commencement address which clearly was directed toward those insensitive culprits.
The culprits, the ones responsible, alone should have been reprimanded.
Bridgeport back-door play
To the Editor:
Is there no limit to the insanity that seems to surround the antics of the Bridgeport Board of Education? In an effort to pare down next year’s school budget, the position of Director of Athletics, Health & Physical Education was eliminated. As the retired — 2015 — A.D. for the district I’m not quite sure the board understands the ramifications of this decision.
Christopher Johnson succeeded me as A.D. and has proved to be a first-class professional in dealing with imposed budget cuts. He has been resourceful in raising funds for equipment and programming via grants and contact with nonprofits, including the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club and the Bridgeport Field of Dreams Foundation. When told last year he had to cut 20 percent of the athletic budget, Chris decided to eliminate freshman football at Bridgeport’s three high schools. It was a difficult move. Bridgeport is not the first community to have freshman sports impacted.
After reading the article in the June 14 Connecticut Post, (“Harding gets money for freshman football”) I was stunned that the board arbitrarily decided, in a 6-3 vote, to approve $3,500 to reinstate freshman football at Harding only.
Board member Christopher Taylor, brought the proposal to the panel after “being approached by Harding coaches.”
A school system full of outstanding educators, coaches and administrators will have programs negatively affected by these troubled financial times.
From a management standpoint, arbitrarily choosing to fund a program at one school and not another because you were “approached by someone” is not the way to operate.
When Chris Johnson, correctly, brought that point up at Monday’s BOE meeting he was told by Taylor, according to Linda Lambeck’s article, “I hope your name is not on our budget list. That’s all I have to say to you.”
Good grief! A BOE member verbally threatening an administrator at a board meeting. Really?
And will someone please explain to this “genius” that Johnson’s position had already been eliminated.
I’m guessing nobody “approached him” with that info.
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Campership 2018 a success
To the Editor:
This year, the Campership 2018 program had more than a 100 percent increase over last year’s requests made to the Fairfield Social Services Department. Early spring fundraisers, including a new one — Comedy at the Seagrape Cafe — collected $2,800 for the annual Fairfield Social Services Campership 2018 program.
A couple of weeks ago, 10 additional children were referred to the Campership program sponsored by the Fairfield Social Services. With the additional requests, Campership money was needed in a hurry to enroll children in local summer camps. Contacts were initiated with our community partners, including Fairfield Community Cares Coalition, our state and local elected representatives, especially the Fairfield RTM leadership, to publicize on social media the need for additional Campership funds. Our high school senior interns for the Human Services Department made advertising posters for the Campership program. Fairfield’s Bigelow Center for Senior Activities members collected more than $400 during their gym classes of Zumba, Tai Chi and Pickleball as the student interns “passed the basket.”
The Fairfield PTA Council offered to match all Fairfield school PTA donations. The result: every one of the PTAs at every public school in Fairfield, plus SEPTA and the Central Office contributed $100. The Fairfield PTA Council matched with a $1,500 donation of $1,500 totaling $3,300. Our total Campership 2018 fundraised total is $5,773 from the community.
On behalf of our Social Services staff and the families in need that we are privileged to assist, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for your kind and generous support! Thank you Fairfield PTA Council, Fairfield School PTA organizations, SEPTA, BOE Central Office, Fairfield Cares Community Coalition, the Bigelow Center for Senior Activities senior members, private individual donors and to our state and local elected officials for your social media efforts, enthusiasm and donations. Together everyone made a difference to help children enjoy a wonderful summer camp experience. Well done and thank you, Fairfield!
Read the newspaper
To the Editor:
Not the only way of knowing, but one of the better ways of understanding what’s going on in a community occurs when a reader of the local newspaper reads the letters to the editor. A dearth of letters may signify a lack of interest of community affairs. But more takes place within the state of affairs both political and social than one may have realized. That is simply so because so many of us choose to be ignorant or uninvolved.
My point is illustrated by three of the “Letters to the editor” in last week’s issue of the Fairfield Citizen. The letter by Stu Bloom expresses the writer’s worries that Ludlowe and other Fairfield schools may not be ready for the probability of a calamity at the school. This is based upon first-hand experience as he sought entrance to the school. He picked a door that should have been locked and was able to get the admission he sought.
Bloom asks a simple but complete question. Isn’t there anything that the community can do to thwart an attack the likes of which brings so much rancor and savagery into the hearts of so many? Similarly, Jim Brown’s letter takes Chris Murphy, Democratic Senator from Connecticut, to task for seemingly feeling unique in taking on the gun lobby when all the while it is, in his view, a combined party effort to address the issue of too many weapons of war in the hands of somewhat distraught individuals, including minors.
As a 32-year veteran of school supervision and administration, I wager that it is the administrators who ought to be on the front lines of protecting the schools, for they can not only enforce the rules on school security, make it a priority or else, and they can also discipline with equanimity, while knowing full-well where the dangers lie and therefore are prepared to defend their schools.
How do I know this? It is because I lived these moments. But my experience occurred after school, and not during school, although there were plenty of challenges in the process, every day that school was in session. Schools must first and foremost count on their staffs to assure the safety of their students. It is a choice that school administrators ought to choose making, for it is their job to make this choice and to act upon it.
I would rather fire a school administrator who totally delegated and neglected to take responsibility than suffer him to stay in his position. And, as those who favor one party over another, they at least ought to know and acknowledge that the politics between one party and another can differ over a long list of issues ranging to support for a party or a cause, for a president or a party. The villains are better at obfuscation than we are.