Last Tuesday, this young lady waited about an hour and half for her turn to speak at the Hoboken BoE meeting. What did she come to say?
GA transcribed her prepared remarks:
I’m a sophomore at Hoboken High school and I’ve only been attending the school for a year but I’m already sick and tired of hearing the horrible, crude, and downright lies about my school. People are afraid to come to the school because of those lies.
From the moment I stepped through that door, I was treated with kindness from the kids and adults. My first day as a freshman, I knew nobody. I knew nothing about the school and believed the rumors and lies I was told... I was scared half to death and actually went to the wrong class the first day. Yeah, I could see the stares by the older kids but you have to think, we are teenagers and we are curious and still learning. We make mistakes just like all of you sitting and watching today.
I remember the first time I had to defend my school to a grownup who was speaking negatively about it. I was at a dance performance at Stevens. I didn’t know who she was, I didn’t know why she was speaking that way about my school but it bothered me enough for me to get up from my seat and talk to her. I told her that I was a student of Hoboken High School and that I do not appreciate you speaking negatively about my school. Sort of like what I’m doing here tonight.
People of Hoboken, how can you believe such rumors about your own high school? If you keep complaining and talking about how the school is horrible then maybe step up and do something. Follow the PTO on social media, come to games, get involved with the community of Redwings, get to know the students before you come and judge my- no, our school.
The more money that’s going into HoLa leaves less money for... my school to improve what we already have. There are so many clubs underfunded , sports not having the right equipment, and things like school supplies needed that we can’t afford taking money out of the budget. The field needs to be replaced... There are so many more opportunities for money to be spent at my school than being spent on HoLa. I saw the pictures in this past weekend’s newspaper, 17 seventh graders that we’re talking about.
People complain about the students at my school and how they make the school bad. Listen, you were all this age. You know how hard it is to be in High school: to be noticed for good things, to keep your grades up. We don’t need a perfect high school. There’s no such thing. High school is learning about who you are going to be, creating memories that will last a lifetime, and exploring your youth. Teens will be teens. Maybe it isn’t our fault but how you perceive us to be.
So if it’s not the kids, not the community, and not the money’s fault, whose is it then? Why is this high school so “bad”? Have you ever thought of a high school not being “bad”? Has a thought ever come to your mind that it’s all just rumors? Take time to go to a football game, basketball game or soccer game. Come to our production of theater. Go to a PTO meeting. Meet the students.
Come see for yourself the “fights” that happen in the hallway and “vandalism.” Come to see for yourself the “scary” and “dangerous” school you’ve all been gossiping about. This is all I’m asking. Experience it and then make your decision. Because that’s what I did and I have one thing to say: I love Hoboken High.
No, thank you.
GA applauds your wisdom and moxie. Your positive feelings and love for your school jives with everything I have seen and heard as the parent of a 7th grader at Hoboken Junior./Senior High School.
Truly, this teenager's sentiments represent our entire district student population "sick and tired" of hearing lies disseminated about their school by grown-ups; lies about the Hoboken school district "having among the highest rates of violence and vandalism in New Jersey."
Such lies cut deeply. Every district student has heard them. Hoboken's children have been indoctrinated with how "bad" and "violent" the district schools are by adults, and this harms our school community by discouraging residents of every socioeconomic strata from using district schools. As the young lady said: "People are afraid to come to the school because of those lies."
Hyping district "violence" and "vandalism" does make an argument for an alternative, but it is a dishonest and self-serving one.
|Certification in support of June 3, 2015 letter brief to the NJ Department of Education opposing BoE's Motion to Stay|