Dear Buffalo Public Schools:

I am the parent of a child that has previously attended Buffalo Public School #67 and a child that still attends school #67. Both of my children have been in Buffalo Public Schools at #67 since Pre-K. We live less than one tenth of a mile from the school. I remember how happy we were when our son got into school #67.

Now I wish he hadn’t. I am absolutely OUTRAGED at what has happened to this school over the past 3 years. When my son started at #67 it was the neighborhood school that I hoped it would be. Kids from the neighborhood walked to school. Families knew each other and there was a sense of pride for our little neighborhood school.

Then the legislation passed stating that all schools in good standing needed to open up seats to kids that were not in schools in good standing. (Translation: we messed up our neighborhood school, now we are coming to mess up ours too!!!!) That is exactly what happened… our neighborhood school was turned upside down with academic issues and behavior problems. The neighborhood kids who had attended #67 from Pre-K had to stop learning so they could watch the behaviors, violence, and disrespect roll in.

I sat idle for a few years hoping that someone would come in and save our little school. Last year my son, an average student) who was in 6th grade came home on a daily basis with little to no homework, no tests to study for, and stories of things that you would only watch on an R rated movie! Despite all of this he got 90’s for the first time in all of his education (I can only guess it is because he was being compared on a curve to his new peers.) What bothered me the most was the violence and disrespect that he was exposed to. My 11 year old boy was not allowed to watch R rated movies, or swear, or even play violent video games at home (where things are supposed to be more relaxed). However at school (the strict and “safe” place) my boy was privy to violence, disrespect, fights, teachers being pushed around, teachers being sworn at, cuss words, and what I can only image to be a circus.

By June 2015, we had decided to place our son in the neighborhood catholic school for the 2015-16 school year. However we kept our daughter at #67 for two reasons: 1) we intend for her to test for City Honors and I don’t feel that having her attend 3 different schools over 3 years is in her best interest 2) most of the transfers come into #67 when the seats become open from the mass exodus in 5th grade to City Honors and Olmstead and she is still in 4th grade. On Thursday, October 1st my daughter came home with a story that makes my blood boil. She watched a 7th grade boy beating up on a girl. (This is the same 7th grade boy who last year pushed the teacher and only got a 3-day suspension). Several adults attempted to stop this violence only to be hit and punched themselves. The neighborhood kids that attend school #67 since Pre-K got to watch this unbelievable scene unfold right before their eyes. Some were even laughing. My daughter was petrified. Then the boy was placed in the office at #67 where the walls are all glass. He proceeded to violently kick the glass in the office repeatedly like a trapped wild animal. Surprisingly the police were NOT called. My daughter had a nightmare last night. Today she was afraid to go to school. Parents are OUTRAGED!

Dr. Cash, Mr. Paladino, Ms. Pierce, Dr. Keresztez, and Mrs. Conrad what is going to be done about this once wonderful school and the violent circus it has been made into? 

 

CARL PALADINO’S RESPONSE: This is sick.  Are we going to educate kids at their level of applied ability or are we just running a three ring circus?  Why don’t all kids have a right to an education at the school of their choice.  Everybody on the Board sits there like a lump on a log when I bring up Neighborhood schools, acting like the minority members speak some form of truth when they say neighborhood schools encourage segregation.  What are you afraid of?  Where is your courage to stand up to such bullshit and start making real decisions for change.   

Why should kids who were enjoying a peaceful education experience now be abused because of the ignorance of the prior administration.  All children and their parents have rights.  46 of 57 of our schools are priority or focus schools.   

Last year the BPS haphazardly moved kids into performing schools whose ability to accept education was ruined by the non-performing schools they came from.  The outsourcing program was frustrated by a half assed effort by Will Keresztes, influenced by Nevergold and Cottman, to make sure the outsourcing would fail.  The whole effort was FUBAR.

We should have opened new schools, encouraged new charters, use of suburban schools, etc., which could have nurtured the children back to a disciplined education. Will Keresztes’ only half-hearted effort to move kids to suburban, charter, catholic or other schools was because he is totally controlled by the minority status quo advocates.  It was a bad decision and we continue to make them.  When Olgilvie, Will Keresztes and Rashondra Martin made the decision to hire the inept, incompetent and blowhard liberal elitist Gary Orfield to lower standards in our criteria schools, we lost any chance we may have had to repair the systemic dysfunction of the BPS. OCR should be told to stick it and sue us, especially since John King will be determining the future of that Washington rat squad.  Sam Radford should be ashamed for bringing the cost and distraction of that nonsense to the district.   All of this is just further evidence that Kriner should clean house.  The present cabinet only illustrates again that they are living evidence that those who created the dysfunction are not competent to correct it. I signed up for radical change and if the Board majority is just along for the ride and paralyzed from enacting constructive changes maybe you should reconsider and give up your seats to people who really want to do something to give these kids a real opportunity for an education.

LARRY QUINN’S RESPONSE: Carl is right. There is something very wrong here. I brought my granddaughter who lived out of state to school yesterday. We walked. I met all the other parents in front before the doors opened. Every parent knew all the kids in the class by name. After just one day they now know me. Btw there were only 18 kids in the class. Not one teacher had called in sick. Not one kid was absent. Oh, and I forgot to mention, it is a public school.    U

Until we provide that environment for every child in our district we have not succeeded. John King is right to view our district as one in distress. How could he not?