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City residents must always try to secure quality education for their children

Of the number of times I have written or spoken to you constructively criticizing your editorials, I thought it incumbent upon me to express my gratitude for your editorial in your July 8-14 issue. “Jamaica HS Saved from the Gallows” was an appropriate title. During slavery in this country, if you did not follow “massa’s” orders, you were hanged. But since massa did not follow the law of the land, Jamaica High School, along with several other high schools, were saved, thanks to the lawsuit filed by the United Federation of Teachers and the NAACP.

I guess I am concerned about Jamaica HS because my younger son graduated from there and went on to Tuskegee University when it was an institute. He is now a bishop and serving as pastor of Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church, where I served for 37 years. If fathers in the Police, Sanitation and Education departments can relinquish their leadership to their offspring, I felt grateful that my son would succeed me and be accepted by the congregation.

But we must not give up on trying to get a decent education for our children, even with this unqualified, on-the-job trainee still not being able to find the solution after more than eight years. As you said in your editorial, closing schools is not the answer and I concur.

Not only was there no impact statement issued to show the effect in closing these schools, but there is also no record of any other educational institution sanctioning the findings of the out-of-control city Department of Education. It listens to no one but itself — not even the officials elected to serve the people in their community or government districts. It operates as an oligarchy — i.e., a government in which a small group exercises control — but I hope not for corrupt and selfish purposes.

As the state Legislature granted the request of our rich mayor and his money was basically used to purchase his last election, many of us should ask the Legislature to revoke the waiver given the city schools chancellor and reconstitute an assimilation of school boards to help bring some semblance to a working school system. This one as is a complete failure for many children in the city we love.

Again, great work done for the children of this city in your editorial.

Charles L. Norris Sr.

Pastor Emeritus

Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church

Jamaica

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