The Jersey City Board of Education meeting on June 19 certainly displayed a large community turnout in favor of interim superintendent Franklin Walker and also a host of elected officials who spoke on his behalf. Present to speak were Mayor Jerramiah Healy, Assemblymen Charles Mainor and Sean Connors, Freeholder Jeffrey Dublin, Councilwoman Viola Richardson (through her representative), and Deputy Mayor Kaili Tayari. Calvin Hart, president of the Jersey City Chapter NAACP, also advocated Walker along with other speakers. The meeting hall was packed with those in support of Walker.
We must commend Board of Education Trustees Angel Valentin, Sterling Waterman, and Vidya Gangadin, who voted in favor of a resolution sponsored by Valentin to reinstate Walker as a finalist for the position, however, sadly, voting against the resolution was Marvin Adames, Carol Harrison Arnold, Carol Lester, Sue Mack, and Sangeeta Ranade voting against, with Marilyn Roman abstaining.
It is to be stressed that the move to appoint Walker is solely being completed on behalf of the 29,000 plus public school children in the district. This certainly is not and should not be a political issue in our community.
President Theodore Roosevelt stated, “Knowing what is right does not mean much unless you do what is right,” and Franklin Walker has done right by the children of the Jersey City public schools all of his life.
Robert B. Knapp