The Story Behind The Story:
Does a Two-Hour Delay Warrant the News?
Friday, February 03, 2023
By Dorothy Philbin | CNBNews Columnist
GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (FEBRUARY 3, 2023)--On Thursday, February 2, 2023 Fox 29 posted a facebook announcement that Gloucester City School District's schools will open two hours late the day after the Super Bowl. Interesting - our schools made the news.Later in the afternoon, radio station 1210 AM, WPHT addressed the same subject; first on the Dawn Stensland show and after that the topic continued with Dan Bongino. Dan asked his audience to send their opinions via twitter. He felt sure that 80% to 90% of the respondents would be in favor of the two-hour delay.When the votes were counted, however, only 55% of the respondents agreed with the delay. The 45% which disagreed felt that the students have missed so much over the pandemic that they couldn't afford to miss even two hours more. Some respondents felt that there are parents who work and would have to leave younger kids home alone or go into work late.And then, from there, things went downhill. Since so many people felt the delay was a bad idea Dan Bongino asked his producer to look at the state's data base for Gloucester City's school reading scores. The producer announced to all the show's listeners that only 32% of Gloucester City's students read on level where 44% of the state's students read on level, which is also sad.Eventually the show went onto a different topic.Later, a survey of web sites revealed that none of Audubon, Brooklawn, Collingswood, Woodbury, or Washington Township posted anything about a delayed opening. Then came an article from the "Football Betting and Legalization News." That publication quoted an e-mail from Superintendent Sean Gorman "It is a rare and special time for families to watch our local professional team compete in the Super Bowl."Once again, all eyes are on Gloucester City. No doubt the intention was benign, just to give kids a little fun and relaxation. For whatever reason our city seems to attract negative attention. In most cases this is based on a single incident which may have happened decades ago, but it follows us through the years. The number of bars in Gloucester City and our perceived history of racism are two examples we have not overcome.Did Sean Gorman send his e-mail with the intention of having his district's reading scores announced on the radio? Did he intend to have his words published in a football betting publication? Most likely the answer to both questions is "no." But this is likely to be another situation where negative publicity will follow our schools and our town long into the future.