My central Jersey town has a Facebook page and members have been complaining that groups of teenagers are taking advantage of school closures by playing pick-up games on the high school football field. Turns out this is an activity that extends beyond Lawrence, with one key difference: In neighboring Hamilton, a math teacher at Steinert High School, Nicole Griggs, saw a group of students playing football in a park and, according to the Trentonian, shouted at them that they should “die a long, painful death” from the coronavirus.
These are teenagers, remember, who, while afflicted with the fallacy of immortality, happen to also be technologically savvy. Within minutes videos of the event were on Snapchat, TikTok, and who knows what else. Griggs, who had been out walking her dog, says this in the video:
“Parks closed. The whole area. Get it through your thick head. You are the reason we are in this situation. You are the problem, not the solution. Go ahead keep recording. Who are you going to show it to? Post me on social media. You’re the idiot doing the wrong thing. I’m just trying to save your ass and save your life. But die, OK. I hope both of you get the coronavirus. I hope you both die a long, painful death.”
The Trentonian suggests this is Griggs’ “M.O.,” noting,
In an April 6 post on the Facebook page of Nikki Leigh, which Griggs appears to operate under an alias, she says: “We are surrounded by idiots!!!!!! Rode our bikes near Kuser Park this afternoon and what to [sic] we see but a younger couple with their daughter maybe 2/3 years old UNDOING the caution tape around the jungle gym so she could slide. I totally called them out on it, wished illness on them and commented that it was scary to even think they were parents. Their response: ‘We were going to put it back.’
Hamilton Superintendent Scott Rocco said the district would investigate the occurence. One of the Steinert students said, ““When she said that, I was shocked. I didn’t know someone would say something like that, especially a teacher. She should be smarter with her words.”
According to the New York Times, over the last two weeks the Princeton-Trenton area (which includes Lawrence and Hamilton) has seen the fifth most coronavirus deaths and the eighth most new cases in the country.