2 suburban schools refuse trips to Newark for football
The city’s recent rash of violence has begun to have an impact on school sports as neighboring communities decline to send their children to city football fields.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School and Cranford High School balked at playing games rescheduled from last Friday and Saturday. Newark school Superintendent Clifford Janey had suspended all athletic events districtwide while police were hunting for suspects in the Friday afternoon shootings.
In response, the administration stays on message: this year has seen a 40% decline in murders — a statistic that Newark leads in the nation. The shootings were localized events between people that knew each other away from Newark schools.
But, to suburbanites, these claims fall on deaf ears. People in suburban communities don’t distinguish between the hockey rink downtown, the restaurants in Ironbound, Branch Brook Park in the North Ward, or the numbered streets in the West Ward: it’s all monolithic, scary Newark. Just like big, monolithic scary New York was to my parents in the 80s.
Neighborhood parsing is something that urbanites do — it requires a level of savvy and sophistication about the issues and geography of a city. I hope, to some degree, that the Daily Newarker helps strip away some of this naiveté about the city, but this goes to show just how much real fear there still is about Newark and how much further we have to go in the eyes of much of New Jersey.