I am writing this letter to address the comments that have been made recently concerning my interview with NBC and about my position on school operations during the present COVID-19 pandemic.
To begin with, I am a proud father of two magnificat Paterson public schools’ students.
Additionally, I am not only an elected official, I am also a longstanding community activist in Paterson who has served with a seriousness of purpose and one who has fought on behalf of Paterson’s schools since at least the early 2000’s.
The point I am making is that I have a right to bring the concerns of my community to the public. I also have a right to direct the concerns of my constituents to the decision makers on the state and federal level.
While we are battling this pandemic which is a national issue, there are parents who wish their children could be given the option to participate in a hybrid morel as other more affluent school districts have been afforded.
A report released by the New Jersey department of education shows that school districts located in affluent communities have provided their students with more opportunities for hybrid learning.
The same safety concerns exist in affluent districts just like they are in urban districts. Nevertheless those affluent districts provide their students with options.
Here in Paterson, parents have reached out to me. Especially parents who have students with IEP‘s that require special concentration during classes and so much more to assist them in their overall learning experience.
The safety of the staff and students is top priority to me as it is to all of us. But we cannot just dismiss the concerns of parents who are calling for their students to at least be provided the opportunity to participate in a hybrid model.
That was the basis of my interview with NBC two weeks ago. It wasn’t to bash teachers, it was to speak up on the issue of racial disparity and lack of options based on one’s area code.
I decided to speak on a matter that is of grave concern to many of my constituents in an effort to bring some solutions to the table.
As I’ve stated openly on many occasions, we will eventually have to tackle this issue and chart a course for a return back.
Finally, let’s not fight each other. We are all in this together and even if we have some disagreements we must still seek out some common ground for the sake of our children.
Corey L. Teague
Corey L. Teague is a member of the Paterson Board of Education