Letter to the Editor: Situation in Shenandoah County schools is now critical
Our society has demanded a “right to life” and a right to education up to age 21 for all children of any race, religion or ability.
Who are the children in the classrooms in Shenandoah County? The athletic girl in foster care while her family cannot raise her? The farmer’s son who worked before dawn? The 2-pound infant surviving intensive care, now the artist trying to read? The immigrant child smartly chattering in two languages? The genius whose home is a car? The latch-key loud mouth leader? The lovely singer raised by elderly grandparents? The beautiful child caring for mentally, physically and addicted parents? The diabetic, epileptic, allergic, deaf, blind and autistic children composing poetry? There may be a quiet scholar with unspeakable secrets.
We have legislated standards of learning to be achieved in record time.
Our schools and the teachers therein are by law and by honor required to achieve incredible goals. We must support them now. How can we tell a teacher how many students he or she must accommodate when we know so little about who is in the class? How can we tell what space there should be for the coach, the bus driver, food service, nurse or security officer from our perspective?
How much space is needed for basketballs, clinics and medicines, technology and computers and corridors? Who knows what mandated services are operant?
What we know is if we can build jails, we can build schools for less money. We know that teachers cannot educate these kids by law, who are in the system today, in a trailer.
Overcrowding invites safety issues, which complicate management. We now have security issues not perceived a few years ago.
We know that the schools are our security in the community. The situation now is critical. We have a job now to study, cooperate and act.
Dr. Eloise Clymer Haun, Woodstock