Football Brawl, School Improvements Discussed

Brick Township Board of Education. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

BRICK – During the September 14 Board of Education meeting, acting Superintendent Dennis Filippone addressed a recent brawl that broke out at a football game between the Brick Township High School Dragons and the Brick Memorial High School Mustangs.

Images of the skirmish first appeared on Snapchat, which was downloaded and shared to other social media. In the aftermath, 10 students were suspended, including some athletes, who would not be allowed to participate with their teams. Others would be precluded from participating in after school activities “for a significant time,” Filippone said.

“The community and the school district is disappointed,” he said during the meeting. “Our image has been tarnished.”

Photo submitted to Micromedia by a reader (Courtesy Patch)

The superintendent said that some rules would immediately be put into place, including a new policy that no inappropriate messages would be allowed at games, such as on T-shirts, flags, water bottles, etc.

Filippone is creating an inter-district council comprised of coaches, teachers, administrators and students, who would try to develop ways the two schools could come together, he said. Three meetings are planned with the first one scheduled for October 3.

“There is always going to be competition between sister schools in the same district. There are great kids at both high schools, and we’ll come out of this as better people. I don’t want to fall into that trap that ‘kids are kids’” Filippone said. “It’s our job and our duty to do better than that, and we will.”

In other news, Board of Education member and Facilities Chair John Barton said that all the summer projects are either completed or near completion, including the three largest facilities projects.

“The parking lot at Veterans Complex had sinkholes forming, and we had to decide, do we need to take out pipes and storm drains? We filled in the joints in the storm drains, which saved us a headache in the long run, and it’s nearly complete,” he said. “We’re working on the lighting, and the children will be much safer.”

The parking lot at Brick High School is complete, but the track was not finished on time, Barton said. The contractor has agreed to work on weekends until the project is completed.

The roof at Warren Wolf Elementary School is nearly done, Barton said, so it is now leak-proof.

Also, various smaller projects, including asphalt, masonry and concrete work has been completed at Brick Memorial High School, Lake Riviera Middle School, Emma Havens Young Elementary School and outside the Board offices.

Gym bleachers and the gym floor at Lake Riviera Middle School have been repaired, a drop down screen to replace a bi-fold door at Emma Havens has been installed, Midstreams had its gym floor and stage repaired, and new lights were installed at Veterans Memorial Middle School.

All the projects were funded in the 2017-2018 budget, Barton said.

Also, Barton said the Laurelton School is not being used, and the district also owns a piece of property behind the school, which is being used for storage, so the administration is going to “see what we can do with that property.”

And finally, School Business Administrator James Edwards said he met with the County Superintendent and Business Administrator to discuss an appeal the district has filed on the loss of state aid.

On July 14 the Brick school district was notified that state aid had been cut by $720,507, from $36,249,310 to $35,528,803, forcing the school administration to revise the 2017-2018 school year budget.

The state would make their recommendation on the appeal later this month, Edwards said.

The next Board of Education meeting will be on Thursday, October 12 at Brick High School at 7 p.m.