NUTLEY, NJ - As rumors continue to spread throughout across social media, in local morning hang outs, and across the community about Nutley Public Schools, safety in the community, elections, and health issues, the TAPinto Nutley team hit the pavement, made the phone calls, and did the research to separate the facts from rumors.
Rumor: Reusable Shopping Bags spread filth, "I saw the cockroaches and mice fall out of the bags at the ShopRite"
Fact: The claim by a noted resident following one of reusable bag activist Braden Somers' presentations got us thinking. Surely if live roaches and live mice dropped out of a bag onto the checkout belt in a supermarket more than one person would have heard about this. TAPinto Nutley reporters marched right up to the owners of the Nutley Park ShopRite to ask about the reusable bag situation. After giving the "area you on something" look, the answer was no. Giving the "noted citizen" the benefit of the doubt, we reached out to managers at the Brookdale ShopRite, Belleville ShopRite, the Allwood Stop and Shop, Clifton Commons Stop and Shop, Aldi in Bloomfield, and Trader Joe's. Some of the managers laughed, most just said it was not true, and one asked if this was a stunt for a TV show. Bottom line, the roaches and cockroaches coming out of the bags is just idle gossip.
Rumor: The Nutley Board of Education arbitrarily limited the amount of time for the public comment session as well as the time for each speaker. The accusation was shouted by a noted member of the community during a BOE meeting, and repeated multiple times in public.
Fact: During public comment, members of the community are allowed time to address agenda items. The time allotted for public comment is 20 minutes, with three minutes allowed per speaker. All comments must be addressed directly to the president of the BOE, and not individual members. After all speakers have spoken, a member of the public may address the board again if there is time remaining for public comment.
Rumor: Nutley High School has a Culinary Club
Fact: Nutley High School has a Culinary Program that is a part of the curriculum, the students in the program know this is more than a club. In recent years students inthe program have gone on to careers in the hospitality industry as well as earn acceptance in the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales.
Rumor: The Township of Nutley and the Board of Education are part of the same budget.
Fact: The Township of Nutley and the Board of Education have completely separate budgets. Neither has oversight in the other’s budget or budget development process. The school district budget is not voted on by the public as long as the total remains under the 2% cap annually, as per the state regulations.
Rumor: Only people with children in the Nutley Public School District can vote for Board of Education candidates. (Rumor Part II: Only graduate of Nutley High School can vote)
FACT: Every registered voter can vote on election day (or vote by mail.) It does not matter if you have children or grandchildren in the district, if you are an empty nester, or are an 18 year old who recently registered to vote. It does not matter if you went to Nutley High School, private school, dropped out of school, or went to the school of hard knocks. Every registered voter is eligible to vote.
Rumor: The new apartment construction is causing overcrowding in the Nutley Public Schools system.
FACT: While new residents in new construction has led to some new enrollment in the district, the two largest factors that have caused the space situation are all-day kindergarten and state mandates for special education. While both programs have exceeded the expectations of the district in terms of quality of education, they both created the need for more instruction space.
All day kindergarten means that where one room was used by two different classes of children in the past, the need for class space doubled.
With special education, the state mandates how many children can be in a class. So a class that may have had been built for 20 students in 1920, now has less than ten special needs students. In countless BOE presentations, the 'overcrowding' problem was described as not being a fire code issues, it is about available instruction space.
Additionally, the turnover of single family homes has drawn families with children to Nutley. Gene Diaz of Prism told the Nutley Chamber of Commerce last Fall that Nutley is a hot market for real estate. Unlike generations past, where people bought a home then had children, families with children are moving into the district to purchase homes.
At the Tues. Jan. 15 meeting of the Nutley Board of Commissioners, Mauro Tucci presented his White Paper "The Effect of Multi-Family Housing on Nutley NJ" According to the report, in 2017 "The total amount of district students actually increased by twenty-four but were not generated from multi-family units."
Rumor: People are leaving Nutley and New Jersey because of schools and high taxes.
FACT: More residents moved out of New Jersey than any other state in 2018, with 66.8% of New Jersey moves being outbound, according to United Van Lines’ 42nd annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year.
The Garden State moved up one spot on the outbound list to No. 1 and has has ranked in the top 10 for the past decade. The primary reasons cited for moving out of New Jersey were job change (34.73%), retirement (34.51%), lifestyle (17.36%), health (6.15%), according to the United Van Lines study.
Rumor: The school district eliminated Freshman sports at Nutley High School.
FACT: Freshman and Sophomores play together in a sub-varsity program. School districts across the state are using a similar model for their high school sports. This topic has been discussed and reported several times.
Rumor: The moderator at the Nutley Board of Education Candidate Forum on Oct. 9 gave the incumbents the questions before the forum
FACT: No candidates received questions before the forum.
Ahead of the forum, all six candidates received communications from the organizers of the forum with regard to expectations and format. In the communications the broad topics were mentioned (ie. Overcrowding, Budgets, etc.) No questions were given to candidates.
The rumor spread so feverishly that the moderators of the Nutley School Dialogue Facebook group posted the accusation as fact. On Thursday October 24, the moderator of that group admitted to spreading rumors and issued the following statement:
"To the members of NODS. I realize I have posted heresay without validation. For this I apologize and going forward, I as a citizen and moderator, will adhere to the mission this group to encourage and engage in positive dialogue on what is best to improve our school system or for the benefit of all of Nutley’s students."
To avoid falling into the trap of rumors, it is best to get information from credentialed news organizations like TAPinto Nutley. When getting news from Facebook. look for the blue check next to the name of the source. TAPinto Nutley has the blue check.
Rumor: You can get the flu from the flu shot.
Fact: A Rutgers expert says you cannot get the flu from the vaccine, but it takes two weeks for the vaccine to be effective.
Read more about the flu vaccine and flu season here: 7 Things To Know About This Year's Flu Season
If you are not vaccinated against flu, the Nutley Health Department received a ship of flu vaccine for senior citizens and individuals 18 years and older. Flu Vaccines Available by Appointment for Nutley Seniors and other Eligible Residents
Rumor: Nutley Schools Are Going Downhill, Fast
Fact: On a ranking list published in late 2018 by NJ Monthly Magazine of 305 high schools in New Jersey, Nutley High School came at number 146. This is a move of 20 place up from 166 in 2016. 'Among NJ Best Public High Schools Nutley High School Jumps 20 Points'
Since 2016, TAPintoNutley.net has been the only locally owned news organization serving the Township of Nutley, and is a member of the New Jersey Press Association. The Nutley Board of Commissioners made TAPintoNutley.net the township's 'Official Electronic News Source' starting in 2019.
Got a news tip? email us at Nutley@TAPinto.net