School hallways across Long Island will be flowing green Tuesday as students and teachers are expected to wear the color of Farmingdale schools after a crash last week killed two educators and injured dozens of high school students as they were en route to a band camp in Pennsylvania.
Kaiden Ulysse, a junior at Malverne High School, planned to wear a dark green hoodie.
Ulysse, a drum major of the “Pride of Malverne” marching band, said Monday the news of the crash has left him rattled. When he saw images of the overturned white-and-blue bus, he thought how similar it looked to the coach he and his band members take when they travel for a state competition.
“That could have been us,” the 15-year-old said. “It’s just a unanimous sorrow and a unanimous grief feeling. We all feel for them.”
Ulysse will be among those who will show up to school in green Tuesday.
Nassau County Council of School Superintendents president Maria Rianna said in a statement Monday, “Students and staff in school districts across Long Island will be dressed in green or wearing green ribbons as a sign of solidarity and support for the Farmingdale School District.”
Rianna said superintendents attending an upcoming New York State Council of School Superintendents conference will be wearing green ribbons as a continued sign of support.
In a letter sent Sunday to ask people to don green, Ulysse’s superintendent, Lorna Lewis, said, “This simple gesture speaks volumes about our empathy, unity, and the sense of togetherness.”
In a phone interview Monday, Lewis said green not only represents Farmingdale but also “hope, growth and renewal.”
“We just want to send our love and empathy to Farmingdale,” she said. “It has affected us deeply because we see ourselves as Dalers. We’re Mules, but the Mules become Dalers. We will be Dalers on Tuesday.”
Farmingdale school board members said in a statement Monday they were “extremely thankful” for the outpouring of support from other school communities across Long Island and the nation.
“The gestures of love and good will — especially the green that so many students and teachers across Long Island will wear to school tomorrow . . . in solidarity with us — mean so much to our grieving community and will help to guide us along the long, arduous road to healing,” the board’s statement said.
For Ulysse, the back of his green hoodie bears the words in capital letters: “KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE TOWARDS LIFE,” a quote that seemed fitting to him.
“Life has no guarantees,” the teen said. “Appreciate the life you have while you have it.”