Let’s All Push to a Higher Standard
I was happy to see a continuation of articles and letters to the editor in the last Rye Record regarding the incident on Freshman Friday. We are seeing a consistent theme around the world these days, which is: economic opportunity does not translate into knowing right from wrong. In this case, what took place in June was that three eleventh-grade boys, unprovoked, beat up at least two eighth graders. Bigger kids beat up on smaller kids.
The teachable moment from this incident need not be over as some have voiced concern about. As parents, we are teaching our children how to deal with adversity and how to advocate for themselves. We do not need to feel hopeless about our impact. Our children watch how we treat others, and they listen to what we say about other people. When we set clear expectations and follow through with consequences, children have an easier time making positive choices.
Perhaps what we learned about our town after the events in June is that our community, with all its wonderful opportunities is currently not that different from the rest of the country when it comes to bullying. If parents, neighbors, and educators are committed to creating a different culture and standing up for our children, we have a chance to use this unfortunate incident to push Rye towards a higher standard.
Ultimately, what I think we all want is for our children to know that they can go to school and feel safe, safe from any kind of physical violence from their classmates.
Our Teenage Boys Need Us to Let Them Experience the Consequences
Diana McBaine-Cook entreats us to close ranks behind the Rye teenagers who have been charged with unlawful imprisonment and second-degree assault (Reader’s Forum: These Are Our Own Teenage Boys and They Need Us Right Now, June 22). This is everything that’s wrong with Rye.
First, let me say that I’m not condemning the alleged perpetrators’ families. They may be wonderful people who brought their sons up right, only to be overridden by a community culture of entitlement (as exemplified by the above-mentioned Reader’s Forum). I’m not even particularly blaming the students themselves; they may be ordinary teenagers who got carried away by a bad idea, as teenagers will. However, to urge “closing in as a community to protect both the victims and the charged boys” because “these are our Rye teenage boys…. our own football players, our Garnets, our lacrosse players, our Rye High School students” is appalling.
The best thing we can do for the perpetrators is to let them experience the full consequences of their actions, so they come to understand that brutality and violence are unacceptable. We do them – and ourselves – no favors if we let them think they can get away with it because they’re from Rye.
Lest We Forget About the Leaf Blower Law
Further to my letter in your last issue concerning the lack of enforcement of the Leaf Blower Law, an investigation with the Rye City Court and Police Department revealed that monitoring of the judicial impact of the law is non-existent. Apparently, neither of these organizations keeps track of the number of violations issued against this particular ordinance over a given time period. I was also told by City Court employees that the maximum fine for a violation is $250, but that fines are set on an ad hoc basis determined by the severity of the offense. I am at a loss to understand how a simple leaf blower violation could incorporate varying degrees of severity. In fact, given the current lack of enforcement, this would seem to be an unnecessary over-sophistication.
I think it is reasonable to ask the City Council, who passed the law, to take administrative steps to determine its impact by keeping simple track of violations prior to the Leaf Blower Law being consigned to rest peacefully in “The Graveyard of Forgotten Laws”. Surely it is time for our legislators to “turn over a new leaf!”
Paul J. Tillotson
Rye Schools Need to Promote Welcoming, Not Harmful Rituals
I have been visiting Rye for well over 20 years, and have resided here for two and a half years, so I’m familiar with the wonderful community spirit Rye displays. I have
family members and friends who have students in the Rye school system and have seen the prevalent, despicable cyber bullying and harassment some of these students have endured. The school administration has known about it but it hasn’t done enough to control and end this behavior.
The latest hazing event shows how serious a problem it is in our community. And it has being going on for many years without any administration enforcement beyond a warning in 2010 to keep children inside your home in the beginning of June.
Is this a “Land of The Living Dead” zombie movie? In response to Ms. McBaine-Cook that participation in the Rye community is a marriage, you are being simplistic.
If we are in a marriage, I think that the crime these young men may have committed would be called spousal abuse, and should be condemned and prosecuted as such. Hazing is a tradition that is Cro-Magnon and small-minded at best. The victims may and could have suffered permanent injuries.
If the three teens committed a criminal act, it should be judged as such. Maybe prosecution will deter and serve as an example to other students not to participate in this behavior.
Instead of hazing rituals, why doesn’t the Rye Schools administration promote “rituals” where younger students are welcomed into their next school level and receive support, friendship, and a true example of community spirit?
Ms. McBaine-Cook may have seen these teenagers do good and commendable things, but criminals need to be prosecuted for their crimes.
I expect no less of the Rye community and from the school taxes I pay.
J. Edgar Velazquez
Restrict Rock Removal During Summer Months
We have lived in the same house in Rye for 32 years. For the past three summers, we have been unable to sit outdoors due to five-day, all-day rock drilling to prepare different sites for new construction, We have never complained before. We are told other communities (Scarsdale and Pleasantville, among others) have some restrictions against rock removal during the summer months.
We understand that construction must go on, but rock removal is very intrusive noise that lasts for months. We currently have two such activities going on within a block of our home.
We believe it is asking too much for current homeowners to endure this noise every summer for most of the summer. We hope the City Council will address this issue
with some speed.
Raymond G. Viault
County Needs to Respond to Fire Calls at Playland
When the Rye Fire Department is responding to calls from Playland, who is protecting Rye?
Several times this season, multiple units from Rye have responded to emergencies and non-structural fires at Playland, leaving the properties of Rye without fire service — something we pay taxes for.
Perhaps it’s time to ask the County to provide and man a pumper to respond to these small fires (i.e. brush and outside rubbish), leaving the Rye units free to respond and protect the lives and property of the residents of Rye.