Hoboken High Student: "I'm tired of hearing downright lies about my school"

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.

Only 17.

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.

Thank you. 

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


  1. great speech. some "adults" around town should be ashamed of themselves, this student makes them look like fools.

  2. That pathetic woman behind her got up gave another one of her usual hate speeches.
    I guess she figures she drags her ass to enough meetings and bitches endlessly somebody will give her another pay check again like Mr. Carmelo did on the taxpayers dime.

    1. You mean the woman who barely picked her head up from her cell phone throughout the kid's speech? Who is that rude woman?

  3. My child will be starting the 1st grade at one of the Hoboken's public schools. We are so excited. My little one has been to the high school, mostly for rehearsals of Shrek! and now the theater summer camp.

    The high school does not scare me, but some people's fast and loose dealings with the facts makes me want to steer clear of HoLa.

  4. Very nice job from a smart young lady. Wouldn't it be nice to rally around our High School at parades and football games? If only everyone would send their kids to Hoboken High School.

    1. You're right..

      It isn't easy for kids to get up and speak in front of adults or in this case, chastise them. This child is trying to correct an injustice- lies, lies and more lies disparaging her school, the student body- calling them "violent" and most "vandalism," in the state of New Jersey! Say what you will, but the portrayal of HHS in this manner smacks of elitism and bigotry. Socioeconomic bigotry. I personally don't care if these divas and drama queens make good on their threats to move. Sensible folk will give the district a chance.

    2. IMO, unfortunate perpetuation of stereotypes and bigorty for some. Real Estate marketing for others.

    3. Anon @ 7:41

      You can't mean that AHOLE that trashes Hoboken district schools at every BoE meeting AND hosts real estate seminars on leaving Hoboken for the burbs? Hoboken listing agent for your condo... sales comissions on suburban home sales... $$$$$$$$$$

      You can't mean HIM. Can you?

    4. That is the answer, isn't it. A community High School we pay for that a segment of our community won't use due to fearmongering and politically-motivated rumors. Some are waking up and putting their kids in the HS, and the word is getting out. Zimmer's kid is going to HHS next year. More will follow.

  5. She showed more maturity and class than some of the adults.

  6. So wonderful to hear the students perspective! They all did a great job. Public speaking is a scary thing to most people.

    It was sweet to hear about Connors too. Shame the Hola parents couldn't squeeze out a nice word about that.

  7. If this were a movie, this student's selfless refusal to be a victim in the reckless campaign of libel and slander against her school would be the turning point where those parents who were not too far gone would see the propaganda campaign for what it was and the change of heart would begin.

    Sadly, the principal noise-makers against HHS are long past the hour when they could think about the damage they are doing and listen to other points of view, especially of those who are most directly impacted and in the best position to state the facts.

    But that doesn't have to be the end. I hope this student will keep speaking out and encouraging others to do the same. And I hope that at the earliest legal opportunity she will consider public office, either in the BOE or City Council. The city is badly in need of new representatives who will honestly and compassionately address themselves to the situation at hand rather than allow themselves to be spokesmodels for poorly concealed political agendas.

  8. School board candidates announced: http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/26781071/article-Eight-file-for-Hoboken-school-board-race?instance=top_story

    Patty Waiters back on the ballot, will there ever be an election she doesn't run in???

    1. The frightening part is she actually receives votes

    2. Who are the "Good guys" out of these names?

      "No matter who wins, the school board will have two new members come January 2016. The terms of Trustees Ruth Tyroler and Jean Marie Mitchell are set to expire this year, and neither filed to defend their seat.

      That makes Trustee Tom Kluepfel, who was elected with Tyroler and Mitchell on the Kids First slate in 2012, the only incumbent in the race.

      The other candidates who filed to run are Patricia Waiters, Sheillah Dallara, Diane Rubino, Addys Velez, Britney Montgomery, Alanna Kauffmann, and John Madigan."

    3. Anon @ 11:34- there is a full, GREAT slate of candidates... yep. But it's early to announce. Stay tuned.


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