Categorized | Editorial

EDITORIAL: In the Best Interest of the Students the Operative Word is Students!

I have to agree with Perth Amboy Resident Reinaldo Aviles when he talked about the length of the Closed Session Meeting of the Board of Education on 2/5/13.

Perhaps the Board should change their procedures and allow students who wish to speak to come forward first. Meetings are normally held on Thursday evenings. Some students not only attend school but go to work afterwards. The Board must take that into consideration.

Mr. Aviles also stated that there are Board Members that have to get up early to go to their places of employment. Those attending meetings may have obligations early the next morning. Some of them are parents trying to prepare their child to get to school before they have to go to work.

I also like Mr. Aviles’ suggestion that there should be a limit to the number of topics to be discussed during the closed sessions.

The public should be allowed to talk before closed sessions begin as they are allowed to do at the City Council meetings. At one of the Board Meetings, I remember PTO Member Donna Stewart, who also has children in the School System making a very profound statement. Ms. Stewart said, “You may not like me or what I have to say, but when I speak about a problem my child is having, I am also speaking for other children as well.”

That statement is very true. The students that were at the 2/5/13 Board Meeting were there to be heard, but unfortunately, they were not heard by the viewing public. Perhaps the problem that they were having might benefit someone else in a similar situation.

Although some of the Board Members did hear of some of these students’ concerns, and I believe a solution was addressed, it would have been nice to have it brought forth publicly.

When I first started working for a weekly paper, I remember the City Council would go into closed sessions for a long time at the beginning of the meetings. I also recall former Councilman Fernando Gonzalez remarking about the Council Meetings being too long and he had to get up early to go to work.

Thank God they changed their closed sessions meetings to after the regular Council Meetings ended.

The Council also has their Caucus Meetings on Monday to go over any questions on agenda items. The Wednesday of the same week is when they have the regular Council Meetings. This way they can vote a little more quickly on the items that were discussed on Monday.

The Board of Education is looking to do something similar. I urge them to do this as quickly as possible. You not only owe it to the students, but to the parents, all those attending the meetings and to yourselves.

I know this is a hard job with no pay, but you owe it to yourselves to work on the most pressing problems and not try to condense everything in one shot.

Take one step at a time and eventually everything will fall into place. And remember when people come to the podium to speak, you may not like them or what they say, but it might be beneficial to someone else.

C.M.

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