Governor Chris Christie’s blunders added to the growing list of political scandals
Radnor Township School District released unsettling information this week regarding the middle school’s seventh grade class president Christy Oinker. The 13-year-old and her staff have been accused of ordering the closure of the East Hall staircase back in early September. According to student government faculty advisors, the staircase closure was ordered in retaliation for head hall monitor Mark Solito’s failure to support Oinker in last spring’s class president elections.
As a result, mass traffic jams backed up the West Hall staircase and clogged many of the hallways causing hundreds of students to be tardy for their classes. Worst of all, one student with severe peanut allergies was rushed to the hospital after the hallway jams blocked her path from the cafeteria to the nurse’s office where she would have received a lifesaving EpiPen shot. The sixth grader and her family are pressing charges against Miss Oinker, the student government organization, the school nurse, the principal, the School Board, Radnor Township School District, Bryn Mawr Hospital, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Food and Drug Administration.
Text messages and crumpled up notes revealed that the retaliation plan was carried out by Oinker’s class secretary, Kelly Bridgeton. Oinker fired secretary Bridgeton the day after the School Board released the report about the staircase closure. At an emergency school assembly last week, class president Oinker denied any prior knowledge of the revenge plot against hall monitor Solito. “I didn’t find out about the scandal until after gym class yesterday morning,” Oinker told those at the assembly. “It is a shame to have what I believe is such a close family of kids working with me, and for one of them to go behind my back and betray my trust. I’m beyond sadness,” added Oinker. It is certainly puzzling, however, to think that if Oinker’s administration is such a tight knit family, she would have had no previous knowledge of the vengeful staircase closure.
Oinker, who already has the reputation of a cut-throat leader and is known to throw her weight around, is understandably in the line of fire from critics who question her leadership tactics. What is most damning for Oinker’s reputation is the amount of fellow student leaders who are now speaking out against Oinker with similar allegations regarding her bully-like tactics. For example, theater club president Dawn Snitch is now accusing Oinker of withholding funds from last year’s bake sale that were meant to go towards replacing equipment that was destroyed when a pipe leakage flooded the theater club’s storage closet last fall.
Similarly, other student leaders have accused Oinker and her staff of utilizing bully-like tactics that range anywhere from swirlies in the restrooms in order to intimidate possible election opponents to demanding lunch money from classmates who have pledged to support her campaign for the school student council presidential elections this coming spring. Speaking of this spring’s student council presidential election, this scandal should probably count out Oinker from having any hope of redeeming her image in an attempt to win the election. Then again, children do tend to have faulty judgment.
The most worrisome part of this whole ordeal is the fact that our student leaders of today are expected to become our world leaders of tomorrow. It would be a shame to see our nation’s most prominent political figures bullying each other and pointing fingers at one another as if they were little kids. Hopefully that’s all that this “Stairgate” scandal at Radnor Middle School proves to be—children behaving like children. Even if our public leaders were to behave in such a disgusting manner, at least we can rely on the respectable citizens of this great nation to not be so naïve as to continue to support such a dishonorable leader.
After all, the American people have been lied to too many times for a scheming two-faced fraud to pull a fast one by them again. First, it was President Nixon in “Watergate,” then President Clinton’s sex scandal, and then it was President Bush’s motives for invading Iraq. The American public surely wouldn’t allow themselves to be duped again. If a prominent American politician ever got caught up in a scandal as low as Radnor Middle School seventh grade class president Christy Oinker’s, let’s hope that the American people would call them out for who they really are: an immature child.