The Fort Lee teachers union Monday lashed out at the Christie Administration and an ex-Port Authority official for “despicable” and “disparaging” remarks they say were made about students following the closure of lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge late last year.
The Fort Lee Education Association slammed David Wildstein and Gov. Chris Christie for mixing politics and education in a blog post dated Jan. 13.
The group said it was “deeply offended by the disparaging remarks made about our students by David Wildstein.”
“When members of the Christie Administration callously created a traffic nightmare in our community, Mr. Wildstein wrote that Fort Lee’s youth are ‘the children of Buono voters’ so there was no problem with them being stuck in gridlock and late to school,” the letter read.
“Our only mission is to provide the best possible education for our students every school day. We never judge our students based on the politics of their parents, because their education is our only concern,” according to the unsigned letter. “For Mr. Wildstein, though, they were nothing more than acceptable collateral damage of a politically-motivated attack on our community.”
The letter shrugs off Christie’s in-person apology to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, saying that the governor “has fostered an environment in his administration of hostility toward public schools and the people who work in them.
“He is part of a movement that promotes the corporate privatization of schools,” the letter reads. “Students are seen as commodities to help private companies increase profits. Mr. Wildstein’s remarks exemplify the true contempt this administration has for New Jersey’s public school students.”
The letters author concludes that Wildstein owes a personal apology to students “whose education he disrupted and whose value he denigrated with such callous indifference.”
Wildstein faces contempt charges after he refused to answer questions before the Assembly transportation committee last week during that committee’s widening inquiry into the sudden closure of lanes to the George Washington bridge last September.