Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI’m ashamed to be associated as an alumni of Niskayuna High School. I read in the Oct. 7 Gazette: “Niskayuna Central School District Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra Jr. issued a statement just after noon Friday stating that the national anthem will not be played at the high school pep rally Friday afternoon, as has been the custom in past years.The statement read in part: “After careful thought and consideration by our administration, and after meeting with members of our student body, it was decided that the national anthem would not be played as it has been in the past. This is an event focused on school spirit and unity, and there was a concern that given the intensity of this issue and the diversity of viewpoints, that this event could turn what is supposed to be a positive experience for our students into a negative one.”What a cowardly and unpatriotic statement. I’m calling for the immediate removal of Superintendent Tangorra. A person in that leadership role shouldn’t be in a position to influence our children. His statement claims that in the interest of the diversity of viewpoints, the anthem will not be played. Has he disregarded the viewpoint of the majority of students and Americans? Why is a patriotic viewpoint being discriminated? Why does he insist on soiling our freedom and flag and national pride by refusing to continue the traditional playing of the anthem at pep rallies? The students should be taught respect and honor, not encouraged to participate in an act of such disrespect. Freedom of speech is of utmost importance, but what the superintendant has done here is extinguish that freedom of speech. He’s denying the majority of the students rights to express their love of country when putting their hand over their heart while playing our anthem, as has been tradition.I will never support NHS fund-raisers or any other event sponsored by NHS until the superintendant has been removed or issues a statement of apology and reverses his deplorable, yes deplorable, actions banning our national anthem. His statement and actions are a disgrace and are cowardly. We all should be ashamed.Joseph WolfeOrmand Beach, Fla. (formerly of Niskayuna)More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfect
Topics : The South Pacific nation last week scrapped domestic social distancing measures, while maintaining strong border restrictions.Ardern on Wednesday suspended the program that allowed the women to be released early from quarantine on compassionate grounds, saying New Zealand’s successful virus response could not be undermined.She stressed that the women, who were visiting a dying relative, had done nothing wrong and complied with health protocols at all times.The women remain in isolation as health officials scramble to test about 320 people they had contact with while in New Zealand. Ardern said it was “absolutely nonsensical” they were not tested earlier and it was clear border controls needed to be tightened to ensure similar failures were not repeated.She said assistant chief of defense Digby Webb had been appointed to oversee border quarantine operations and was being given access to military personnel and logistical expertise.”My view is that we need the rigor, we need the confidence, we need the discipline that the military can provide,” Ardern told reporters.Health Minister David Clark said New Zealand had successfully “eliminated COVID-19” prior to latest imported cases, after recording only 22 deaths in a population of five million. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ordered the military to oversee New Zealand’s borders Wednesday after a quarantine bungle that allowed COVID-19 back into the country.A 24-day run with no new cases was broken on Tuesday when it emerged two women who recently arrived from Britain were allowed out of quarantine early without being tested for the virus, even though one had mild symptoms.The pair were eventually swabbed and proved to be infected, but only after they made a 650 kilometer road-trip from Auckland to Wellington to see a dying relative.