GLEN ROCK, NJ – After the Glen Rock school district bade farewell to 196 graduates on Thursday, June 21, a charming commencement ceremony turned “appalling” afterward when a trustee said events transpired over the weekend that she said left her “completely disturbed.”
At a board meeting on Monday, June 25, Trustee Elizabeth Carr said she was informed Sunday morning that the 500 chairs assembled on the turf field at Glen Rock High School were left “toppled over” following graduation.
“When I got there, to my disgust – because there’s no other word – they were thrown all over the place,” she said.
Carr added that she teamed up with Building and Grounds Supervisor Sandy Marinos to pick up the field at 11 a.m. Sunday. She said with graduation field cleanup, it’s a “first come, first pick-up basis,” and that Glen Rock High School’s field was scheduled for a cleanup later that day.
Carr said while the culprits are uncertain, the “lack of respect” for the district is clear.
“The lack of respect for this district, I have no words to express,” she told the board on Monday night. “I can’t control what people do. I can’t control how people raise their kids. I can’t control how people act. I don’t know if it was kids… Or Glen Rock or out-of-towners. All I know is, it was appalling. It shouldn’t have been up to me, Sandy or custodians to clean up for that matter.”
Carr could not be reached for comment.
Earlier last month, the Glen Rock School district reported a slim margin (0.97) of acts of violence, vandalism, weapons, drug use and bullying per 100 students. According to the list obtained by local media, the district was ranked No. 378 out of 583 among New Jersey schools that issued a mandatory report of such incidents in the 2016-’17 academic year to the state Department of Education.
To help curb the field issue and prevent such an event from happening a second time, the Board of Education – with the exception of Vice President Sharon Scarpelli who was absent – positively swept Carr’s motion Monday night to look into pricing for surveillance cameras on the lower and all-purpose fields at the Hamilton Avenue high school. The board will resume talks on the cameras when they will reconvene again on July 10.
“It’s got to stop,” said Carr. “We invest too much money for our athletes for them [the fields] to be destroyed like that. It’s disheartening to me. This can’t go on anymore.”