YOU READ IT HERE FIRST : Fair Lawn school administrators, bowing to pressure from parents and students, are replacing a cancelled pre-Thanksgiving pep rally with two separate events, as the parents had suggested after High School Principal James Marcella broke a promise to hold the annual ritual, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
Several parents sent a letter to Marcella accusing him of pulling the plug on the rally after promising it would be held. They challenged him to “take this opportunity and make it a teachable moment in a positive, not negative way.”
“It seems unconscionable that you would cancel a traditional event rather than critically think and seek alternative solutions to solving a problem at hand,” the parents wrote, in the letter, obtained by CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
“In these economic times, it would have been common courtesy to inform the parent community so they could make an informed decision regarding the purchase of class shirts that were specifically designed for the pep rally tradition,” they added.
After the intial story was published on CLIFFVIEW PILOT , other media began asking questions, placing Marcella’s boss, Superintendent Bruce Watson, in a favorable light as an administrator who was trying to find a solution despite opposition from what he characterized as a small contingent of parents.
Last year’s rally ended with students tackling each other, he said. Watson also expressed concern about an overflow crowd of 1,500 attendees, exceeding the high school gym’s maximum legal capacity of 1,320.
In their letter, obtained by CLIFFVIEW PILOT , a large number of parents answered each and every concern. If the size of the turnout concerned anyone, the parents wrote, school officials could simply have gathered freshman and sophomore students in one gym and junior and senior students in another, “downsizing the population to a more controllable number.”
And that’s exactly what they’re doing.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT’S EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL STORY, INCLUDING THE PARENTS’ LETTER
Parents accuse Fair Lawn HS principal of lying
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