This past election, I was faced with a very distressing situation. Despite being a staunch, lifelong Democrat, I could not, in good conscience, support any of the three current Democratic candidates for White Plains Common Council.
Why? In a word, FASNY (the French-American School of New York).
I live right in the heart of the area affected, for better or worse, by FASNY.
When the very first signs went up in our Gedney Farms neighborhood announcing an information session about FASNY, I eagerly attended. What I discovered had nothing to do with information. This was made clear when I entered only to be greeted at the registration desk by a woman wearing the now only-too-familiar anti-FASNY logo across her chest.
What ensued was an emotionally charged, logic-sparse diatribe against FASNY, an excellent school with which I already was somewhat familiar through work connections. Had I not known what FASNY stood for, I would have concluded that there was a proposal on the table to place a halfway house for violent sex offenders in the neighborhood.
Much of the discussion was absolutely stunning. FASNY were called outright liars and virtually portrayed as devils by one incensed individual.
What followed were difficult and destructive years that continue at, from my perspective, irresponsible expense to the White Plains taxpayer.
My experience with FASNY has come from my employment as a 30-year IBMer working at the international level of the company. FASNY is part of an international network of schools adhering to the national French curriculum. This provides not only excellence for American students but also a consistent and highly portable education for those students who must change locations be they states or countries. I knew many people who were brought to Westchester on assignment and several who sent their children to the French American School.
What FASNY asserts about its school and the benefits to the community is true and aligns with my personal experience and that of others I know who have had their children actually attend the school. They are not the liars and devils they have been portrayed as by the Gedney Association.
I can only hope that going forward we bring facts and logic, not misinformation and emotion to the fore.
Elizabeth J. Kurth,
5 Richbell Road, White Plains
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