Letter to the Editor …

The following letter to the editor was submitted by member Joe Burton. It is presented as his commentary and does not refer to a newsletter article or website post —

Dear Editor,

So far, I have been warned by several former colleagues  if I still taught at Northport HS and was mentored by Dick Streb, I would be fired for the following:

  1. Driving my “Trail of Tears” class to Malone, NY to stay with angry Iroquois Native Americans for a week
  2. Teaching Future Studies and students refurbishing a turn-of-the-century trolley on class time with Sandy Scarpinito
  3. Supporting Sandy’s students construction of a rooftop hydroponic garden and lighthouse project
  4. Naming the trolley for a deceased member of our Northport family
  5. Assigning 9th grade World Studies classes to rummage through their kitchen garbage and bring in future archeological artifacts about a wasteful society
  6. STUDENTS writing the names and celebrating the lives of 3015 heroes killed on 9/11 over objections from the HS principal and department head
  7. Welcoming MSNBC and BRIAN WILLIAMS to document the wall
  8. Teaching the beauty of American pluralism and pro-immigration policies
  9. Publicly supporting affordable family heath care
  10. Teaching the words to the Star Spangled Banner
  11. Wearing a tie to work every day
  12. Protesting the removal of trees by contractors
  13. Saying goodbye to 9 sections of “Criminal Justice” when the course died after I retired
  14. Supporting “Students for 60,000’ and anything Pete White did
  15. Demonstrating “Theatre of the Mind” with a live radio show written and performed by students
  16. Teaching Holocaust Studies and discussing “the deniers”
  17. Showing “Bowling for Columbine”, “Shindler’s List”, “PAY IT FORWARD” and playing radio shows like “War of the Worlds”
  18. Initiating an ACADEMIC competition between classes at ENJHS named after Bobby Quinn
  19. Starting a lacrosse program with Bill Miller
  20. Demonstrate for a solid union contract
  21. Coaching an undefeated basketball team with George Franck
  22. Marrying a fellow great teacher
  23. Insisting students stand and repeat the Pledge Of Allegiance every morning