(Recorded on March 24, 1994)

~ Introductory Text by John Sherin ~

Part One

TONIGHT'S TURNOUT BEING LESS THAN EXPECTED, those who came found themselves speaking on behalf of the absent majority. A young father and parent of two children was critical of his high school experience in the district and tells why he has moved his family out of Brentwood to a neighboring hamlet of Hauppauge. Cultural changes have contributed to increased levels of violence in school as exemplified by the tragic East Junior High hostage situation of May 1983 and its aftermath, Brentwood being the first in a string of classroom takeovers reported in media over the next decade from coast to coast.

Contrast this with their recollection of M-T as a safe place and a home away from home for students, providing a “second-chance family” for many in its nurturing, close, family-oriented environment. A 13-year employee of LILCO who found his job while attending Suffolk Community College expresses concern for the future of public education in light of the growing home schooling movement.

Part Two

A Special Educator licensed by the state of New York with a Master's Degree describes how for her M-T was a life saving, life altering experience. Another former student living out east with family and 8-month-old twins told us about her parcel of land and horses that are a part of an active lifestyle that includes a husband’s calf-roping rodeo career and their plans to build a dream home (envisioned in M-T) in Pennsylvania. Currently a New York State employee, she’s Assistant to the Director of Medical Supplies at the new Veterans Home in Stony Brook. ”Wouldn’t our critics be surprised” she mused, “at how well we have all fared in our lives?” They all wondered aloud at how well comparable students from the regular high school had done.

Some subjects touched upon in a discussion punctuated by frequent laughter and good memories were reunions, after-school jobs that take kids away from participating, single-parent families, teachers who made a difference, life goals, their many Board of Ed presentations, pride of place, the role of parents in preventing school drop-outs, the United States being at war, teacher burnout, Special Education in private and institutional settings, teaching to the positive, the quiet observing students sitting in classes needing to be “rescued,” and Friends World College. An overriding and unanswered question was:  “Do you think a school like M-T would still work for students and teachers today?"