On Wednesday, August 21, 2013, the Jersey Journal printed an article about the BHS “ACADEMY WING.” While I was reading this article I was just amazed at what is being printed about this “new wing” of the high school. Now I don’t know how old the entire school is but I am quite sure it is almost 100 or so. Many of us in Bayonne attended this school or have been in the buildings for one reason or another. In the second column of this article it states that, “All 15 of the renovated classrooms in the academy wing will be state of the art facilities equipped with smart board technology.” It goes on to say, that “the school has also purchased stationary and mobile computer labs and the necessary equipment for the new art rooms.”
What I would like to know is what school purchased these items? Bayonne High School? Really? Or could it have been the Bayonne Board of Education? How does Dr. McGeehan allow for such purchases when supposedly they cannot afford a contract for the teachers? This had to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. How come this is such an urgency when the rest of the high school is falling apart. Paint chipping off ceilings and walls throughout the school. Not just in the high school, but throughout the district.
Business Administrator of the BBOED, Leo Smith, says the classroom plan for the academy formed when the district was allocating funds for yearly renovations. These monies are usually spread out over 15 to 20 classrooms throughout the City of Bayonne. So let me get this straight, instead of giving this money to the classrooms in Bayonne that really were in need of being renovated, he just decided to put it all into the making of this academy wing? Smith says that this project will cost between $175,000 and $200,000 and all of this money was already in the district budget. Yes, Leo, maybe so, but it was there to be used for 15-20 different classrooms throughout Bayonne’s schools. He also claims they were able to keep costs down by using school staff. Don’t forget hiring the students to work either. I believe they were paid around $7 per hour, give or take a few cents.
There are just some people who should not be allowed to make statements to the press and Mr. Smith is one of them. Maybe, just maybe the residents, you know the taxpayers, who are paying your salary, really don’t want to hear how wonderful this new academy is when the teachers have no contract and the other schools are not getting what they need and deserve to maintain their schools. What about the rest of the high school? I guess those kids are not as smart as the kids going to the academy. All the children throughout the entire Bayonne School District should have equal education. They should not have to be tested to be in an art, dance, music, or drama class. These used to be electives. This is like segregation all over again. I guess none of this should surprise me or anyone else. It only took 92 years before Washington School was able to get new bathrooms.
CHERIE LA PELUSA