Saturday, November 2, 2013

Invested in Hoboken and Hoboken High versus the naysayers

This guest piece comes from Hoboken High School parent Steve Feinstein:

I have learned that at the 10/29 HBOE candidate forum James Gilbarty, Natalie Rivera, Vanessa Falco and Brian Murray repeated over and over again that our HS was full of non-Hoboken kids, had a violence and vandalism problem and overall was a nasty place to be.

To my continued dismay, just as in the prior HBOE elections, every candidate slate opposing the Kids First slate chooses to inaccurately, misleadingly and unfairly bad-mouth the Hoboken school district, specifically the high school.  Interestingly, the school is quite the opposite of what these so called aspiring public servants would have you believe.  I can’t tell you if they’re purposely lying or they just choose not to learn what really is going on, but they’re not providing anything near an accurate picture of the HJSHS (Hoboken Junior-Senior High School).  Please see for yourself, you’ll be shocked at how misleading (or misled and not inquisitive) the above-named candidates are.  They must think this strategy (of lying to or trying to mislead the voters) will get them into office.  I hope they’re wrong.

As a proud parent of two HJSHS students, one in 12th and the other in 10th grade, I am here to set the record straight and to publicly refute their disgraceful lies.  Both of my kids are loving their high school experience.  They’re not afraid and neither are their friends.  Literally, there is no crime, vandalism or violence of which I know.  I can say for a fact the political opposition is either lying or being misled.

I can’t say for sure, but I can’t remember a time when the political opposition did not bad-mouth the high school (and I’ve been living in town for 20+ years).  I am happy to say that they didn’t scare me.  It seems like the idea is to scare people out of town so those in control of the HBOE don‘t have to be accountable to anyone.  As a Hoboken resident, a Hoboken parent and a Hoboken homeowner and taxpayer, this simply enrages me. 

Why would people who are running for public office like that engage in such destructive and hurtful behavior?  They say they care about the schools but instead of learning for themselves, they spout lies and act as if they are speaking with knowledge.  These candidates claim to care about the Hoboken school district and claim that they want to help the school district.  How does bashing the district and spreading hurtful falsehoods (specifically the J-SHS) help anyone?  They should know instead that it hurts the kids, the parents, the staff and the administration, not only of the J-SHS but of everyone in and involved in the district. 

Believe it or not, these are our kids, our friends and neighbors and their kids (we are a community) and we are not criminals, nor should we be stepped on or demeaned for going to or sending our kids to the HJ-SHS.  So please stop engaging in fear-mongering and attempts to mislead and tear down the progress at every turn.  We are not leaving town when it is time to send our kids to the high school and we will not be scared away by your disgraceful tactics.  Sorry.

Also, the historical systemic, wide-ranging mismanagement and administrative problems that plagued our school district when Kids First won control away was the first and most important task to address and correct.  Audits revealed questionable accounting practices and the failure to collect funds due the district for services provided.  Turning around years of questionable (maybe corrupt) practices and a culture of failure takes a great deal of time, determination and tenacity.  I think the job Kids First has done so far is no less than incredible.  They should not be stopped now.  So, please vote for Irene Sobolov, Leon Gold and Jennifer Evans on November 5.  Thank you for reading.

Steven Feinstein