Massachusetts State Representative Douglas W. Petersen (D) [8th Essex district: City of Lynn (precinct 4 of ward 3, and precinct 4 of ward 4) and the towns of Marblehead and Swampscott] disparaged Lynn students before the Swampscott School Committee Tuesday night (March 27, 2007). Petersen is certainly in the mold of fellow Democrat U.S. Senator John F. Kerry. (Recall Kerry's self-proclaimed "botched joke" about U.S. Service men and women.) Rep. Petersen apparently is challenged in the area of not expressing contempt for those whom he reprepesents at the State level. I'm all against this constant "class warfare."
When answering a question dealing with state aid and the disparity of aid between Swampscott and Lynn, Petersen said, “At no point has anyone from Swampscott ever called me, nor will they ever call me to get their child into a Lynn school,” Petersen said. He continued to say, a lot of Swampscott kids are going to be captains of industry someday and you want those Lynn kids to be educated because they are your future employees.
“The way I used the analogy was wrong and if I could take it back and do it again I certainly would,” Petersen said.
“I certainly wish I could have phrased it in a different way,” Petersen said. (State Rep. Petersen backpedals on insults to Lynn students by Henry J. Collins, The Daily Item)
Yeah right. Everyone from Lynn knows what he meant. Swampscott is supposedly the "rich community" and Lynn is supposedly the "poor community." I’m confident he will be re-elected.
Sasha Williams has an earful for state Rep. Douglas Petersen after reading Petersen’s response to comments he received on Swampscott’s and Lynn’s public school funding levels.
Petersen told Swampscott parents Tuesday their sons and daughters would “be captains of industry” and as such they would need good employees, “so we have to educate Lynn kids,” he said.
“It’s very ignorant,” Williams of Lynn said. “That’s very disrespectful.”
Ruth Ann Switzer of Nahant said Petersen’s comment underscored perceived inequities in public education funding.
“I think it’s unfortunate it sounds so elitist, but a lot of people have that attitude. It reflects a growing gap between the rich and poor.”
Petersen, during Swampscott’s School Committee meeting, said he received electronic mail from parents who are angry because Lynn receives more money per pupil for education than Swampscott.
Switzer said the legislator’s remarks highlight the need for a discussion on reducing funding disparities in Massachusetts public schools by reorganizing them into regional school districts.
Sterling Denton of Lynn took a blunter view toward Petersen’s words.
“This is highly ridiculous. They are trying to do the best they can for the kids.”
Lynn parent Julissa Sepulveda said Petersen’s focus on school spending and education quality is important. For her, the most pressing problem facing parents is finding safe after school activities.
“We need to get kids off the streets, maybe by building a second YMCA.”
Chris Gaines works with kids in a Lynn arts program and said Petersen’s comments “only perpetuate stereotypes of Lynn and Swampscott.”
“His suggestion is Lynn produces blue collar workers, which is no different than any other community. But Lynn kids are also going to be captains of industry.”
(Lynners rate Petersen's remarks as ‘offensive’ by Thor Jourgensen, The Daily Item, March 29, 2007)
When I use my Latin people sometimes ask me where I learned it. I tell them, "I learned it at Lynn Classical." "Shock and awe" often follow. I always like to break unjust stereotypes.