As the wife of the current Remsenburg/Speonk School Board president, I often get inquiries about the proposed school expansion. I always try to deflect these forays into the topic as I am not the board member, only the spouse, and will not have all the facts and information. However, during some of these encounters, I have gleaned some disturbing bias and ignorance from our community members.
One person asked me didn’t most of the children in the school come from Speonk? I would not entertain this conversation as I know this person socially and did not want him to give away his bias against the students from north of the highway. I simply stated that was not true, many Remsenburg families send their children to the school and that he needed to do his research.
Don’t the taxpayers pay for all the students in the district to be educated? The School Board has had two informational sessions and has offered to give private tours with the superintendent to answer any other questions anyone may have. I asked him to try and get into the school and ask those questions.
One other thing that greatly dismayed me recently was at a social gathering, when I was told by a gentleman that he was voting no on the expansion. I asked him if he had been to any of the informational meetings, and he said no, he had not.
Why, I wonder? Why just say no when it seems the only information he could have is what the district sent out in two newsletters, what a reporter can fit into an article on the expansion, or from the letters to the editor of The Southampton Press. How discouraging from someone I thought was well informed in his decisions.
It got me thinking that there seems to be a sort of knee-jerk reaction going on. A well-informed community gets information and makes sound decisions and does not attack School Board members who work for the community for no compensation at all. The biggest shame of the expansion is the way it has divided the community. We are one community, right?
Let’s be civil and if anyone thinks they would be better suited for the job, run for a seat on the School Board and try to make a difference like these dedicated citizens do.
SUZANNE T. COLLINSRemsenburg