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Neighbors Complain About Students' Behavior

Residents near Farmingdale High School cite vandalism, drugs and driving hazards.

The got an earful of complaints Wednesday night about drinking, vandalism, fighting and other bad behavior on the part of students in the neighborhood around the high school.

Numerous residents stepped to the microphone at the board meeting to tell the board and district administrators that they had witnessed students drinking or using drugs before and after school, vandalizing or breaking into cars, smashing bottles on the street and getting in to fights.

Nick Diaz, who lives next to school, led the parade of speakers who complained and asked for solutions.

"We have problems with safety, a multitude of problems, speeding, blowing through lights," he said. "If you live there you’d be up here making these complaints. We’re having an issue here. We’ve hit our limit.

"The behavior and conduct they’re displaying is atrocious. If any of you’d to spend some time and stand there with me," he said to board members, they would see the problem, which neighbors said occurred on and off school property.

Diaz and others cited a lack of gates to keep students off school property after hours, and one said students were entering school property, including a dimly lit parking lot, at night.

Other speakers wanted students to park in lots instead of on the street and objected to school rules that reserved the lot for seniors.

Several  said they had called school security and police repeatedly but the problems persist. "We call the police, they come, the kids run away and come back an hour later," one woman said. The police "are on a restricted a budget, they can’t really do anything about it either."

Another neighbor said, "The school yard is my backyard. I have heard atrocious language; in the summertime, I can’t sleep. It’s impossible. They're cursing to holy hell, pardon the expression."

Most speakers said problems in the area had worsened in the last three to five years and one man who had several complaints said, "I love Farmingdale but if I could sell my house now, I would."

Cindy March, another neighbor, said, "With those kids blowing through stop signs it’s not safe; they’re smoking, they're drinking. I’m a victim in my own home. It’s your responsiblity to do something."

Board member Kathy Lively told the crowd, "Your concerns are being heard. We appreciate your coming down."

Superintendent John Lorentz said the district would work with neighbors and others, including police, to find solutions. When one man wondered where he could find Lorentz's phone number, the superintendent provided it while noting that it was on the school website and school newsletters and said, to laughter, "I couldn't hide if I wanted to."

The board meets Tuesday at 8 p.m. for a public hearing on the budget. The public vote on the budget is set for May 15.

Helen May 04, 2012 at 12:54 AM
@Frustrated taxpayer - AMEN - you hit the nail right smack on the padded pocketed nail head. Hey, I'm all for the protection of our school districts most valuable assets - the children themselves. Albeit some and I stress some of the HS kids are out of control - lets not group all the apples together. There have always been and always will be the bad seeds in all schools. Yes, I agree that without security the problem has escalated. Yes, I agree that the new renovations need not be done - and I'm so surprised that in the Our Schools newsletter just received there is no mention of additional monies needed for security - which I am sure, if was put in there people might swallow a bit easier than the usual bull-oney about what our kids will lose.... Sort of veered off course, but yes, the area around the school needs better "policing" please note the quotes - but as for stop signs - why don't you all just realize they are not a statement of law but a simple suggestion - stop if you want to, if not, oh, well....the road is yours.......there are a bunch of idiotic drivers down by FHS and you'd be surprised that 1/3 are NOT teenagers....
Jeffrey Lee May 04, 2012 at 03:57 AM
I would comment although was forced to sign a "Letter of Confidentiality" Seriously though the picture was the wrong gate I think the unlocked gate of discussion was the one off Woodward Pkwy. The whole point of this is the fact that over the past 15 years the generations have became worse. Parties in the woods have been going on for decades it is just a different breed and mentality that has produced this. Allocate the proper funding to a district wide surveillance system and the security will be dispatched more efficiently. I think in the late 90's 2000's the Kegger spot was called "Cobra"
Jeffrey Lee May 04, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Didn't you know that this is the generation that is all about "Sex in the Lex with a little bit of X" ? Although don't forget you have to be "PC" because their parents would say you "Offended" them if you use "Inappropriate Language".
Jeffrey Lee May 04, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Remember 1/3 of the taxes represents Police, Fire, Sanitation, Parks, Roads, Property etc....2/3 represents the school taxes. So let's not go on a police bashing rant or the matter could be resolved by proper security no need to go all Nazi on the youth !
EBEESLY May 04, 2012 at 02:49 PM
the district (BOE) needs to SERIOULSY step up and address this problem.

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