At this week’s Orange Board of Selectmen’s meeting, longtime Selectman Mitch Goldblatt made the following statement before the board:
“I stand before you tonight as a graduate of the Amity Class of 1975 and the proud father of two Amity graduates, the latest just this past June. But, as I stand here wearing my Amity colors, none of us could foresee the hate and bigotry that we have heard about at the high school in just the last few days.
I am proud of the courageous Amity students who were willing to stand up to such hate and expose the anti-Semitism, racism, and homophobia that exists there.
Amity represents friendship and a bond between the towns of Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge. That very fabric is being torn by the vile and disgusting acts that have caused many students not to feel safe in their own school.
This hurts all of us and weakens us not just as a school system, but as a community; for this is not just an Amity problem, it is a community problem.
I am pleased that the Amity administration has quickly taken a leadership role in not only inviting students into listening sessions over the past two days, but also by partnering with clergy, elected officials, law enforcement, the Anti-Defamation League, and others to address this issue that exists in our schools and our community.
As town leaders, I expect us to work with the administration in any way possible to understand and then end this intolerance of others. As a first step, I urge all of you to join me this Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the annual Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Service being held this year at Holy Infant Church. Let us come together to show our respect for each other’s faiths and rise together as one community during this holiday season.
Those who participate in hate crimes should be held accountable and punished.
However, from this negative publicity, sadness, and shock, I can only hope that we will become a stronger community and a stronger Amity so that we can all be proud once again because Hate Has No Home Here!”