Earlier in the week, I interviewed to fill a vacant position on the Paterson Board of Education. While I will admit to have not been misquoted, I regret to say that due to my poor choice of words and being a little nervous, I was misunderstood.
Certainly, I believe the majority of our students are law abiding and working toward a positive future for themselves and their families. What I intended to say was that the majority of the students that I have come across in my dealings as a police officer, have been with those who have made some bad decisions.
It has been my experience that they most often had made these bad decisions due to a lack of more positive choices available. It had also been my experience that often, these kids who have made bad choices, aren’t bad kids.
This is why I hope to have the opportunity to play a role in creating more positive choices for our students. I believe in the value and opportunity that a good education offers our students. I want to see them all succeed in life. That is why it breaks my heart for me to see kids as victims and perpetrators of crimes in my daily work.
As a lifelong resident of Paterson and proud graduate of Eastside High School, I understand that it takes a village to raise a kid. Many of my friends from Paterson have gone on to do amazing things with their lives. However, I also have friends who’ve made some bad choices and are no longer with us.
As a police officer, often times I’m on the back end of a kid slipping through the cracks. Now I want to be on the front end as a Board member, being proactive in giving our kids better choices and more opportunities.
I believe strongly that given the chance, our kids will show their full potential and will grow to contribute to their home town. That is why I am running for the Board of Education and hopefully the community will support me as I am supporting our kids.
Eddy Pichardo is a candidate in the November school board election.