We Were Never Supposed to Forget – Absegami Did!
Churches were once the hub of towns and communities whose responsibilities were to teach and preserve our local heritage, values, and traditions. Children were taught community pride and an understanding of what their town held near and dear to its heart. Today schools are the purveyor of these duties. But what happens to a town when this doesn’t happen? Such as our own town of Galloway where Absegami High School, the flagship of our local educational system, now carries the mantle of this responsibility, or at least it should. Instead our local high school functions more like its own little country requiring only our children and our tax dollars while holding itself unaccountable to the community. Perhaps that is why I am at a loss to understand how the top administrator of the school knows so little about our community and our values. It’s quite simple, she doesn’t live among us. She doesn’t know our towns leaders and she places her own narcissistic agenda above all else. Particularly disturbing was Absegami’s remembrance of the 9/11 tragedy or should I say the lack of one. It boggles my mind that the principal of Absegami can be so self absorbed that she can forget to honor the victims of one of America’s greatest tragedies. Nothing! Not a moment of silence. Not a directive to teachers to make the event relevant in their lesson plans (thank God most did). Nothing! I bet she isn’t even aware that our town has dedicated a park with a lake at the heart of our community, i.e. Patriot Lake, as a memorial to 9/11. As a former member of the armed forces, her blunder is offensive. Along with numerous other decisions, I wonder about her competency and sensitivity to our community. Within a few years, every child entering Absegami High School will have been born after that fateful day. Will the significance of Patriot Lake be lost because an out of touch administrator has deemed the event insignificant? Couple this with her decision to deny the use of school facilities for the wake of a beloved local hero. A mentor to many children, including my own son who was heartbroken by his loss, she denied use of school facilities for a community remembrance because there wasn’t enough time to process the paperwork. She didn’t know Coach “JUN” or how significant his presence was to the community of Galloway, because she doesn’t care to know who or what is important to our community, or even know that he and his family were Absegami alumni! Her interest stops at the end of the driveway. Local knowledge or participation in our community doesn’t add to her paycheck or enhance her Limpkin profile. Maybe it’s time for the town fathers to step to the plate and debate Absegami’s relationship with Galloway. Perhaps a vote of no confidence is in order. By the way, our local BOE members Marge Guenther, Vicki Hood and Carol Houck were asked to comment on this piece. I must assume they support the principal’s decisions and share her disinterest in the remembrance of our nation’s tragedy since none of them were able to take the time to offer their opinion. I wonder if they even looked into the matter. Perhaps a field trip to Patriot Lake is necessary. They all need to be reminded of our community heritage. We can never forget, and we can never allow those in charge to forget either.