What Is Presidential Candidate Cuomo DOING?
School Superintendent of the Huntington Union Free School District #3 Jim Polansky is rightly shocked to hear in the media that Huntington High School has been named to the list that the Governor believes needs State troopers, help against gangs. Suffolk County Police commissioner Sini with his gang task force and Huntington High School are doing the job. We published the following story on March 26, 2017. https://thehuntingtonian.com/2017/03/26/ms13gangmembersdeport/
Quotes from that story it tells about the arrest of 2 known MS-13 gang members and their deportation:
“The police have a run down on issues happening in the community. The major concern of many over the last few meetings has been recruiting, bullying and beatings from MS-13 gang members. Back on February 14, 2017 Kevin Zepedapadilla, 17 (MS-13 gang member), was arrested for stabbing two people on NY Ave back in November 2016, confirmed by video. Two sources have confirmed that Zepedapadilla has been removed from NY jail and is waiting to be deported in a Pennsylvania ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Center. The meeting also made the community aware that a 16 year old (name withheld because of age) who was a menace to the Huntington Station Community and schools was actively recruiting for MS-13, was also arrested on many charges and he too has been sent to the ICE Detention center in PA like Zepedapadilla. Young community members mentioned that things have been much better and quiet up at the High School because of his arrest. The meeting attendees gave a loud ovation. “
The 16 year old was a top recruiter for MS-13 in the Huntington High School and OUR POLICE and School District Administration took care of it with the help of ICE. Governor Cuomo we always want more cops, but where have you been? Why did you not ask the school district for permission and cooperation, before this media debacle?
Below please find Jim Polansky’s letter to the district:
“Dear Members of the Huntington School District Family,
As you may know, on Wednesday, the Governor held a press conference in a neighboring school district for the purpose of announcing that state troopers would be deployed to ten schools in Suffolk County. Only two hours before the event did we receive an invitation, with no indication of the format or subject.
While we could not attend the event on such short notice, a press release immediately following, as well as several media sources, shared information on the aforesaid state trooper “initiative.” We were shocked to learn in this manner that Huntington High School was on the list of ten.
Much of our dismay stems from the fact that at no point were we approached. At no point did any state official or otherwise reach out and ask what we need or don’t need. At no point did anyone request a visit or invite a conversation of any sort. At no point have we received even fragments of information about the proposal. Upon questioning this with multiple state officials, the best we received was a thorough apology and an admission that the “ball was dropped.”
To put it bluntly, we are deeply disappointed in the manner in which this initiative has been presented overall. It is not something that can or should simply be imposed on any school in a vacuum. In Huntington, we are always open to new ideas and appreciate any opportunity to break new educational ground. We are far from certain that this initiative qualifies.
Over many years, we have taken proactive measures to ensure the safety of all school community members. All parties in Huntington schools work exceptionally hard to educate students, staff and community members in a manner that generates healthy discussion, understanding and collaboration. Unfortunately this attempt at program implementation on Long Island is devoid of all such components. This could not be more apparent in the Governor’s broad statement that “this is a problem that the school system does not deal with.” He is clearly misinformed and misguided about the role of educators in general and we can certainly speak for Huntington.
Huntington High School is an incredible place to learn. The opportunities provided are boundless. The strides made by students and staff in recent years are well documented. Student growth and achievement have soared. It is a place that celebrates diversity and promotes inclusivity in all regards. Its graduates are well prepared to tackle the challenges presented in post-secondary academia and beyond. In brief, yesterday’s press conference served primarily to mischaracterize and, frankly, offend all members of the school community. In fact, numerous students were the first to point this out first thing this morning. Unfortunately we continue to witness that education and politics rarely prove to be a productive combination.
We will gladly extend an invitation to anyone who is interested in witnessing the environment at Huntington High School firsthand. There are countless reasons to take pride in all that occurs within its walls and within the walls of all district schools.
James W. Polansky Brenden P. Cusack
Superintendent of Schools Huntington High School Principal “