Students attend governor's town hall meeting

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A delegation of twenty Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School students were invited to attend a town hall meeting for Governor Chris Christie on Wed. Mar. 31 at Harding Elementary school in Kenilworth. The Governor took several questions during the 90-minute event, including one from junior Josh Axelrod.
The student delegation included representatives of The Fanscotian, the Junior State of America debating club, DECA, and AP U.S. Government classes.
Axelrod asked the Governor whether or not he believes that the negative effects of the PARCC tests (specifically the havoc it wreaked on school schedules) outweighed the positives. Christie responded, “You got to take the test. I don’t know what else to tell you.” The Governor went on to mention that the taxpayers of New Jersey spend more than $17,000 per year to educate each public school student. The Governor ended with, “If that [taking the PARCC test] is your biggest frustration in life, you’re going to have a great life,” a line which received some applause.
The meeting was centered on the Governor’s proposed reforms to public worker’s health benefits and pensions, the cost of which has been rapidly increasing over the past few years. Christie repeatedly referred to the promise of comfortable benefits and pensions as “a sin of the past” committed by his predecessors as Governor.
Despite a relatively friendly crowd, a number of protesters attended, criticizing the Governor’s recent environmental settlement with Exxon corporation. The protesters, mostly young women, waved fake handcuffs and shouted, “Arrest Christie!” before being escorted out of the meeting by federal troopers. Another protester holding a sign saying “Keep Families Together,” a reference to the Governor’s support of deportation of illegal immigrants who have children who are U.S. citizens, was similarly asked to leave.
 
Click Here to watch a clip from the meeting.