Letters to the editor: Teacher layoffs as COVID aid ceases


Teacher layoffs as COVID aid ceases

Always interesting that when it comes to cutting the budget, it seems teachers are the first to go. Assuming that the Riverhead educators targeted for layoffs are needed regardless of the pandemic, seems to me it’s a priority to do everything possible to keep young, motivated teachers on board. In my opinion, it appears that the administrative staff could use some streamlining. Looking at the organization chart makes one’s head spin with all the assistants — not just the superintendent but other administrative functions, How are superintendent and assistant superintendent contracts structured? 

John Woods


We will not buy the farmland

In the heart of every parent is a dream — a dream where their children flourish, their potential nurtured and their futures bright. Riverhead Charter School was founded 23 years ago by local Riverhead parents with that dream, who felt that their local school districts weren’t helping them to realize it for their children. They aspired for a place of learning where young minds would be cherished and challenged — a sanctuary fostering academic skills and the values of integrity, respect and community. Today we still hold that dream close to our hearts. It is the essence of our purpose and passion, and is that root of every decision that we make. 

We are not merely a school; we are a family — a collective that cares deeply about nurturing the leaders of tomorrow. It is because of both our commitment to our students and our sense of both family and community that we are making the decision to withdraw our bid to purchase the Potato Acres LLC land. The recent discussions surrounding RCS’s pursuit of new land has stirred deep emotions in Riverhead residents, on both sides of the debate. Recently, those adult emotions have been directed at our students, causing them to feel as though they are not a part of this community.

Due to the direct attacks on our students, which have threatened their psychological safety, we are making the tough decision to withdraw our bid on Potato Acres. Though our plans to expand our physical presence have met obstacles, our spirit remains indomitable. The decision to step back from the property bid with Potato Acres LLC was made with heavy hearts, but our resolve to find a new space — a new home for our growing family — stands firm.

We understand that the path to reaching our educational aspirations is paved with challenges, but these trials only strengthen the bonds within our community. In these moments, we must hold fast to our shared dreams and work together, hand in hand.

David Edwards

Mr. Edwards is president of Riverhead Charter School’s Board of Trustees.


Are these really your values?

Imagine it’s 1933 and you’re a Jew living in Germany. You have what you thought is a wonderful relationship with your non-Jewish neighbor. He comes to you and says, “Listen, we’re good neighbors and good friends. I’d like to keep it that way, so I hope that my vote for Hitler won’t get in the way of our relationship.”

Now imagine it’s 2024 and you’re an immigrant, or a Muslim, or a Jew living in the United States. You have what you think is a wonderful relationship with your non-immigrant, non-Muslim, non-Jewish neighbor. He comes to you and says, “Listen, we’re good neighbors and good friends. I’d like to keep it that way, so I hope that my vote for Donald Trump in November won’t get in the way of our relationship.” Do you see the similarities?

Mr. Trump has called fallen warriors “suckers” and “losers.” He says immigrants are “poisoning the blood of our country.” He calls his political opponents “vermin.” He’s tried everything he could to ban Muslims from coming into the country. He said there were “very fine people on both sides” when his followers marched through Charlottesville shouting, “Jews will not replace us.” He’s parroted Mussolini and Hitler time and again and has declared that he wants to be a dictator.

Can you really continue a relationship with your Trump-supporting neighbor given his history of sex, lies and videotapes coupled with his intent to revive every discriminatory aspect of the 1950s in this country? Are those your values too? Because if you can vote for this guy, you’re supporting his worst instincts and you need to ask yourself if you share those instincts. There’s no other explanation.

Michael Levy