Featured Letter: Greenport schools should improve communication

10/30/2014 6:00 AM |



To the Editor:

Over the past month, a Greenport teacher and at least one student have been arrested in unrelated incidents, and while both events have seen media coverage, neither incident seemed to warrant much messaging from the Greenport School District.

Last year, crisis-type incidents also went unaddressed. These issues are part of the world we live in and are not unique to Greenport; every community will face similar controversies and tough issues. However, how these issues are dealt with and communicated about speaks volumes to the integrity of a school community.

And Greenport has been largely silent — most importantly, to the families that make up the school.

No message identified that the school was even aware of these issues, very little was said to the press, and students were not addressed by administration. I realize that there are protocols of confidentiality, but addressing controversies as they arise can be done without breaching privacies. By keeping a policy of silence on these and any other issues we might not even know about, Greenport unintentionally conveys a policy of acceptance.

Saying nothing says that Greenport either turns a blind eye to issues of controversy, or doesn’t take these issues and their future impact seriously.

It’s my hope this isn’t true, but silence does Greenport no favors. Possibly there are actions and conversations being had internally to amend and move past these circumstances, but I wouldn’t know. Nothing has been said. When asked why the district has not communicated with the school community, more than once I was given a response that had no connection to the question asked.

Greenport is capable of communicating. When faced with a shorter football season, a special meeting was held to address parents and discuss the impact of a shorter season. Apparently, football ranks higher than criminal activity on the priority list.

I can say that as a parent, the message I’m getting is that Greenport is silent in the face of conflict. So far, I’ve heard nothing to dispute this fact.

Rosalie Rung