Parents have to live with board’s mistakes

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, October 15, 2008

As a parent of a first grader at South Point Elementary who attended the recent school board meeting, I would have liked to have seen the board members give their opinion on where they stand on this issue, and why.

If they had a good argument for one solution or the other, they should have presented it. That was their opportunity to put a positive spin on this.

It is regretful that for the sake of just building a school in Burlington when the numbers weren’t there to begin with, that all the elementary children in the 45680 zip code will have to endure some changes.

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After hearing all the comments at the meeting, we are for the realignment. Walking into the meeting, I did not think I would be for this option. Yes, there are pros and cons to both of the proposed resolutions. However, keeping the welfare of my child and the other children of 45680 should be of the utmost importance.

I hope all the parents, teachers, board members and administrators remember that a fair solution has to be found, not just a quick and easy solution.

We are for realignment for several reasons.

My child will still be with the same set of classmates and friends, whether it is in South Point (village) or in Burlington through her school years (K-12). Socialization is just as important as education in growing a well-rounded child.

The realignment will help diminish the rivalry between the two schools and aid in an easier transition into middle school, and high school.

No one group or geographic area is paying the price for poor planning on the school board’s behalf.

We will all be in this together, the kids, the parents, the teachers and administrators. Again, no one child is being ripped from all she/he knows and is thriving in, she’ll be with her peers, just under a different roof.

Are there drawbacks to realignment? You bet there are. Will it be difficult for some having two children in two different elementary schools? Of course it will.

But we are now reaping what was sown four years ago when the bond levy was passed, without all of the facts being disclosed openly and honestly.

I would urge the board to not take the easy road out on this. The folks who are for redistricting are the folks who will not have to endure a change and most live inside the village. They will not have to explain to their 5-8 years olds why they are being ripped away from their activities, friends and all that is familiar to them, to be placed into a completely foreign situation, which can be very stressful and emotional for a child under the age of 8.

Is this conducive to a positive learning experience? I think not. In my opinion, and others who live in the area (outside of the village) redistricting is the cowardly way out of this.

I know something has to be done, but the proposed redistricting line does not appear to be very well thought out nor the fairest solution for all of us. Some would call it discriminatory.

Let us remember that the Village of South Point also helped vote the school board in, and also helped pass the levy. They too should share in the consequences, good or bad.

We should do what is best for all of the children, not just those who live in the Village of South Point.