A reprise from February, 2017 in honor of the next snowfall due today …
With the onslaught of snow and pandemic cloistering lately there’s been a lot of chatter about snow days and how to get creative with the white stuff. Well, in the 1970s, a few R-FH area kids took their creativity farther than most would be allowed to these days. And that chatter could have well been the chattering of teeth in the freezing weather.
At Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School students are back in class, in the halls, in the cafeteria, in study hall … somewhere in that building on Ridge Road with the tower.
You get the drift.
However, on March 13, 1979, they were outside — in force.
They had staged a walkout “in protest of the Board of Education’s decision to terminate three teachers in order to stay within its state-mandated spending limit,” according to the archives of the Red Bank Register.
So, the Retro Pic of the Day takes us back to that day with a photo of an unpublished Register photo of that day that appeared in the 2011 Monmouth County Library exhibit entitled Red Bank Register: 40 Photographs, 1976-1985.
The exhibit featured the work of several Register photographers. The photos came from years’ worth of preservation of negatives from the work of Carl Andrews, James J. Connolly, Carl Forino, Dave Kingdon, Don Lordi and Larry Perna.
While the records did not indicate which photographer took the RFH shot, it’s a classic, so we’re sharing it in our look back for the day. Carl Andrews was a Rumson resident. Though it’s not clear if he took the photo.
While I was in my first year of college when the photo was taken, I do recall hearing about this walkout. RFH students were always very proactive with school politics.
“The students, who said the Board‘s decision showed ‘callousness and disdain for teachers as individuals,’ argued that the school should have waited for older teachers to retire instead of firing younger ones with less seniority,” the photo description for the exhibit said. “Tora Doremus, Board president, stated that the quality of education at Rumson-Fair Haven would be maintained and that ‘I don‘t think this walkout served the students‘ purpose.’ More than 300 students participated in the demonstration on Friday morning, March 13, 1979.”
Hey, I think that’s Erin Bell, daughter of RFH English teacher Marilyn Bell, right in the front.
The Red Bank Register Negative Collection is in the Monmouth County Archives and the exhibit featuring the 40 photos was at Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan in October of 2011.