Today is a very emotional day for many people as Jamaica High School will hold its final graduation ceremony this evening. I am sure friends at other closing schools such as Norman Thomas, Beach Channel, Columbus and many more are experiencing similar feelings.
For me personally, it is the end of a twenty-eight year teaching stint at the 122 year old Jamaica HS that will officially cease to exist.
As of today, we are still trying to make sure every eligible student is permitted to graduate.
I just want to add my personal view that the Bloomberg policy of closing community schools has proven to be a failure time and time again, when Chancellor Farina had the chance to halt these closings, she did not. I will never refer to her as "our partners". I've only known James Eterno for a couple of years, but there isn't a better union man to be found in 52 Broadway than James. He is a staunch defender of union democracy and a tireless advocate for his school and our union. If the UFT leadership had any chutzpah and if they knew right from wrong, James would have a union job yesterday. In a time when our union is coming under attack from gazillionares and their corporations, we need outspoken leaders to stand up and speak out on all our behalf. It's a shame that our own union leadership tries to silence the best of these voices.All the best to James,Mike