Readers Write: G.N. North lot expansion an unneeded burden

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Since Monday night’s meeting precluded attendees from responding to the comments made by speakers who spoke after them, I would like to answer some of their remarks:

While it was said that the Building Committee and Shared Decision Making Committee had discussed ideas for projects for the bond for four years prior to the bond, was there anyone on those committees whose children do not go to Great Neck North High School? 

Limiting those committees to parents of students at or administrators of GNNHS will certainly skew one’s perspective. 

How many of the parents on SDC actually live in the surrounding neighborhood?  How many can appreciate the problems that exist at all the street intersections near the high school and middle school?  How many of the SDC have stepped onto the soccer field themselves?  

No matter what the school board, administrators, and parents want to claim, the shared decision making committee and other committees at the time did not include members of the non-school community. 

On the school district website it specifically states that the shared decision making committee is required to “publicize in writing to the entire school community each year”.  Nowhere is there a requirement for community members without children in the schools to be included on the committee. 

Even if the composition of the committees has changed now, the composition over the past four years lacked community representation.

 Contrary to the superintendent’s quote in last week’s paper, this soccer field was used through the fall of 2016. 

We have seen it, spoken to people who have used it, and there should be records for the permits for field use.  The field stopped being used because it was no longer offered as a choice to the clubs that apply for permits from the school. 

Can this field be upgraded or improved?  Yes, but once it was marked for destruction, it was not in the best interests of the school to admit it was a used field. 

Having this field available for use can be another source of income for the GNPS.  At the November Board of Eductation meeting, there was a father who was pleading with the school to put more money in their soccer program because there were not adequate fields available. 

After Sunday’s almost all day rain storm, there was not even a puddle in this field on Monday morning. 

Are there bugs outside?  Yes, but this can be remediated. Do we cut down forests because of critters that may annoy us and live inside of them?  No.  Why should a field be marked for destruction at the whim of a homogeneous committee who has no appreciation for the green space in their midst? 

Did you know green space can be conducive to learning?

 Safer Environment:  for whom?  GNN is not fenced in, nor is it a closed campus. 

The administrators put a lot of trust in the students who choose to leave campus for lunch.  Students cut through local yards near and around the school on a regular basis.

We have called up the school to inform them when students have cut class and climbed into the forested area between the homes and school to sit with friends, when students have sprinted across our and our neighbor’s lawns and then crawled under the school fencing. 

Has administration made an effort to discuss the meaning of “trespassing”? 

If anyone has driven down Brokaw Lane between 11:30 and 1 pm, it is not uncommon to see students walking four across in the street.  Do the administrators instruct them on how to behave among their neighbors and how to walk safely? 

So when we are told that administrators feel that having a closed parking lot will be safer, please excuse us if we don’t trust their logic – this does not resolve the above problems.  Perhaps the answer that will solve everything is to make GNN a closed campus. 

Adding a new parking lot on campus does not increase safety, nor does it mean that students will park in it. 

If students want to leave midday, they will still park on the street or in other locales. 

Since you cannot force the students to use the proposed lot, the core argument of the school re. safety is fallacious. 

This problem about safety from the school’s perspective highlights problems with the administration not being able to control students, not parking.

Despite what those who argue about safety say, adding drivers to the streets around the school will decrease safety. 

As has been repeatedly pointed out, adding 97 spots (to the already existing 80) will add 97 young, inexperienced drivers to the streets. 

Whether parking in lots or on the street, they are still driving in the surrounding community, all at the same time in greater traffic with the potential for increased mishaps.  What has your traffic study shown?

One parent at the Monday night meeting condoned the fact that her son parks in a municipal lot during the school day, and complained that he had to move the car midday.  She should be encouraging him to follow rules and park where it is allowed.

The lot she alluded to is one for use for people who use the local businesses, not kids who are tardy.  Her son would not have to worry about moving the car if he parked at the school-owned lot at Parkwood (Walking one-quarter mile for teenagers should not be considered a burden). 

If there are 280 students in the senior grade at GNN, does that mean we need to provide a parking spot for every student?  

With great privilege comes great responsibility:  rather than destroy an ecosystem to satisfy the ever growing needs of a car-driving senior class, let’s step back a little and teach the students that there are no unlimited resources in this world; we need to conserve when we can and cooperate with one another in preserving the environment. 

Encourage the students to understand the need for collaboration to spread our limited resources a longer way.

 Robert Mendelson

Great Neck

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