MANA Sought to Address School Violence in Amityville Public Schools

Recently the Amityville Public Schools, under the direction of Dr. Ed Fale, reached out to the Ministerial Alliance of North Amityville and Vicinity to assist in the addressing of a problem that has rapidly gotten out of hand.  

At present there are over 30 students from the Middle School and the High School have been expelled for the rest of the school year for fighting in the school facilities.  The problem has become so severe until the school district has asked MANA to convene a special community meeting so that parents and school officials can discuss what can be done to arrest the situation.

Early indicators seem to suggest that most of these fights are the typical “boyfriend-girlfriend” conflicts that are usual for teenagers, but according to the school superintendent, the severity of the violence and level of injurie is far worst than what it has been in the past.  Under the direction of Pastor Keith Hayward of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Copiague and Rev. Christian Code, a member of the administrative staff for the district and associate minister of the Bethel AME Church of Copiague, the Ministerial Alliance of North Amityville and Vicinity is planning a community forum where the school district can come and explain how serious the problem has become and where parents can come and raise questions and concerns about the safety and welfare of the their children in school.  

District staff is working hard to identify the root causes of the fighting and school officials are now confessing that the violence may increasingly growing along racial lines.  Presently, nearly 60 percent of the student population is Hispanic, with almost 40 percent African American and around 5 percent White.  

Bishop Lewter, president of MANA has wondered aloud whether or not the strife and division that makes up the political landscape of our country has not surfaced in the tensions and conflicts of local students in public schools.

While plans for a community forum/meeting have not been finalized at the time of this writing, there is a commitment on the part of MANA to convene such a meeting before the end of the year.  We therefore are asking all congregations and members of MANA to prepare to participate when final arrangements have been made.

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