Letter to the editor submitted by former Selectman Drew Marzullo March 16, 2018
To the editor,
The criticism against the decision not to let the media cover the Greenwich High School student demonstration against gun violence is misplaced and ill-informed. No student was discouraged from protesting and the decision to limit media access was made after careful thought by the Superintendent, in consultation with law enforcement officials. We, the public, can second guess such a decision, media outlets can site first amendment rights but we are not entitled to know in advance for obvious reasons specific security measures put in place. The focus should not be about “banning” our local press from reporting inside a school building because this decision was not about local press access. The focus should be about hundreds of well informed, passionate, energetic kids who organized a successful event that was seen over and over again on social media. That too was well thought out and planned by the very same kids who may in fact finally be the ones who make change and stop this carnage from ever happening again. Of course their is a fine line when ever one tries to silence or exclude and we should do whatever it takes to prevent such from happening when that line is crossed. This specific decision did not cross such line.
This was not a public event for politicians to stand in front of the media making speeches. This was an indoor event, planned in advance to show solidarity and send yet again another message to anyone trying to prevent common sense gun laws from happening. Had the students been openly protesting outside of the school walls, that event would have been accessible to the media. In this instance, privacy and security were paramount in the decision making process and Greenwich Police and school administrators made such decision with only one thing in mind. To keep our children safe. That’s it.
Students across the nation stood strong, with one voice, because of this unified commitment to end gun violence. The students designed the program and decided how they chose to mark the day and moment with their peers, and do not deserve any residual controversy. The GHS student leadership should be proud.
Greenwich Selectman 2009-2017