UPDATE: Trumbull Democrats edit video following GOP criticism
Trumbull Democrats removed slides Thursday afternoon from a YouTube video that shows portable classrooms at local schools.
First Selectman Timothy Herbst joined the Trumbull GOP in censuring Democrats for the YouTube video on school redistricting.
The video criticizes the Board of Education and Board Chair Deborah Herbst, the first selectman’s mother, for not scheduling a public forum on redistricting and cutting parents short at a public comment portion of a recent board meeting. See story here.
Herbst, who shared a letter he sent to Democratic Town Committee Chair Tom Kelly, said he was concerned with the video showing school campuses and portable classrooms.
“Their primary concern and one that I share, is that your video shows images of all of our school buildings, including the location of certain portable classrooms,” Herbst wrote in his letter. “In the aftermath of December 14, 2012, Chief Kiely, the Emergency Management Team and my office made very clear that portable classrooms compromised public safety and that the Board of Education needed to address this issue and eliminate portable classrooms. You were a member of the BOE at the time and in the majority. For whatever reason, this was not a priority for you or your colleagues.”
Kelly dismissed the suggestion that the video caused a safety issue, but Democrats decided to reedit the video to remove the portable images. Kelly said he challenged First Selectman Timothy Herbst and Republicans to support adding more school staff at the high school, citing recent tragedies like the death of Maren Sanchez in Milford and the shooting of a young Shelton teen, as reasons to take serious action.
"Even with the restorations implemented by the Board of Education, Trumbull High School has one social worker per 1,100 students, when the national average is one per 500 students," Kelly said. "We need to ensure we have enough support staff for students and not too few. I ask the First Selectman and Republican leaders to join me in calling for an additional appropriation to the Board of Education to support hiring two additional social workers, two additional counselors, and one School Resource Officer (SRO) who would be a Trumbull Police Officer. If we all support adding these positions, we can put the political rhetoric behind us, replace it with action, and do something positive for our community right now."