Taking up residence outside of Stamford is one thing. But berating its school system? That’s something that bugs residents.
“Stamford's schools not only provide an excellent education,” says Wendy Lecker, co-president of the Parent Teacher Council, “but, being wonderfully diverse, they enable my children to develop into tolerant citizens who will be able to successfully navigate our increasingly diverse country and world.”
Lecker was responding to an ad in a Stamford newspaper that has led her and others to speak out. In the ad, which features a house for sale in Weston, the owner mentions living in Stamford 20 years ago. The family had young children, the owner says in the ad, and “we … bused them to private schools in Greenwich. Since this wasn’t the ideal situation, we decided to move to another community, and after researching the area we focused in on Weston. Back then Weston had (and still has) one of the finest school systems in the country.”
The ad, published in the Stamford Advocate on March 11, goes on to say that the owner is now selling because the children have moved out.
“In my opinion, the ad unfortunately relies on unsubstantiated fear-mongering about Stamford's Public Schools,” says Lecker. “Clearly, since the person who placed the ad describes his perception of Stamford's schools from 20 years ago, his opinions are not based on any current facts — if they were ever based on facts at all.”
In addition, the owner mocks those who might object to the ad, with a heading that reads, “SUE Me! My broker said I can’t run this ad … sue me!”
Stamford resident Tammy Felenstein, president of the city’s Board of Realtors, said she agreed with the owner’s broker. “I would have adamantly told [the owner] it was a very bad idea,” said Felenstein. “The problem we have with it is [the owner] is disparaging our system without even stepping foot in the Stamford Public Schools. A lot of people were very upset with the ad. People who live in Stamford who have children attending the schools know that the schools are wonderful.”
What’s more, Stamford and Weston are “two very different communities,” said Felenstein, noting Stamford’s urban-center culture, shopping, restaurants and nightlife.
Calls to a telephone number on the ad were not answered.
What do you think about the ad? How do you feel about the criticism of the Stamford schools? Contact Felicia at .