Something has recently been brought to my attention that I just cannot dismiss.
On May 18 residences with children attending Levittown Public Schools received a letter regarding an adult male performing "lewd, obscene and suggestive acts" witnessed by students in the Abbey, Wisdom and Division Avenue attendance zones. The letter was mailed to households with children from those schools only. From what I understand, the district did not feel it was necessary to send this letter to households with children in the Salk or MacArthur schools, even though one of the bus stops in question (Amber Lane) is just a few blocks away from the Salk and MacArthur area. Does the administration have a crystal ball and know where the perpetrator would strike next?
My child attends a private school and I have never received any notifications regarding problems in our community. My question to the district administration is, since you are making a continued "effort to ensure that the safety of our students is never compromised" as stated in the Jan. 19 letter, why do you feel it not necessary to ensure the safety of my child, and every other child in Levittown who attends a private school? There are many other students in the community traveling to various other private schools. Are our children not standing on street corners every morning waiting for a school bus, in much smaller numbers? Do you not think that some parents may have elected to drive their child to school until the perpetrator was apprehended? Are they then not walking home, in many cases, alone? Do you feel they are excused from being accosted by a sex offender because they are wearing a uniform? A "Levittown student" is still a "Levittown student" no matter what school that child attends.
We contribute $5,000 a year in school taxes and are able to take advantage of busing and school books. The rest is used by the Levittown School District in whatever way they see fit. I believe we should be entitled to a $.37 stamp to be notified when "disturbing incidents" are taking place in the neighborhood. The district finds the money to send us notices to vote for the school budget; they even find the money to send us letters to contribute to "Dollars for Scholars" which my child does not even have the opportunity to participate in. Let me also point out that some residences received three copies in the mail of the Feb. 17 letter, one for each child. Perhaps two of those letters could have been sent to other Levittown residents who send their children to a private school. Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray recently sent a notice to all residents in the Town of Hempstead warning us of vaccine cubes being distributed to help the rabid raccoon situation in the area. She was concerned for the safety of our pets. I'm sure she would agree that the safety of our children far surpasses the well being of our animals.
I feel it is the district's responsibility and obligation to notify their community when problems like this arise. Perhaps the administration disagrees and could then direct me to the proper authority. However, in this day and age of computer technology, I find it hard to believe that the school district is not capable of generating a mailing list that includes all households with school age children, regardless of the school they are attending. (If cost or time is a factor, a data base with e-mail addresses could be compiled, perhaps utilizing the school emergency card for the e-mail addresses of parents whose children attend public school and a mailing to ascertain this information from the parents of children attending private school.)
Ironically, there was a news report on Channel 12 this morning regarding an incident involving someone with a foot fetish in the Dix Hills area. The Half Hollow Hills School District posted this incident on their website. Do you do anything similar? If so, the community should be informed that this is available to them. And, if not, this may be an avenue to consider.
I'm sure if they put their heads together, they can come up with a way of informing all concerned parents when incidents of this nature occur, and, at the same time, provide a safe environment for all the children in our community, whether they are attending public or private school.
Patricia T. Patane