Sunday, August 31, 2008

Taking a Stand

I'm working on a column for next Sunday and it will depart from my usual light-hearted approach. The middle school where my nieces and nephews went to school is severely overcrowded. It was built for six hundred students and it currently has almost twice that many students enrolled.
Since there is no room for them in the original building, they surplus students are housed in trailers parked around the grounds. Most of the trailers do not have indoor plumbing. If a child has to go to the restroom, they are usually escorted by an aide.
Normally trailers are used in extraordinary situations and are temporary. This school has had trailers for years and the number continues to grow. I woke up this morning thinking about what would happen if the school was hit by one of the many tornadoes that rip through our area with alarming frequency.
I've never been politically motivated, I don't want to run for office but I do fear for the lives of the children of our community. I believe that things can change with the right focus. I've stood by too long. I think it is time to act.
The next board of education meeting is September 11th so Jilda and I have marked our calendars and plan to attend.
I'll start by gathering facts and then try to raise awareness with the news media. There are a lot of things that are broken and they will stay broken until someone takes a stand. We'll see what happens.
The way I see it is I know and the school board knows the school is vulnerable. If disaster struck, and we had not acted to correct the problem, the blood would be on all our hands.

1 comment:

  1. You could make up placards and rally parents to march to the school board meeting en masse. Maybe even all wearing T-shirts with a common message. Lots of ways to gain publicity. Banners and streamers on cars. Notices of a protest rally posted in store windows. Etc. Stress the inconvenience to the pupils, and the danger from storms.

    Someone will need to head a committee to assess the costs of replacing the "temporary" buildings, including how to accumulate the funds. Maybe a combination of donations, bonds, state allocations and tax increases. Be prepared for strong opposition regarding the funding.

    The key is to keep people's attention on the problems.


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