, Newburyport, MA


November 15, 2012

Kids, kids, nothing but the kids

To the editor:

In the past in these columns, I have emphasized the importance of the youth of America in the future growth and development of our city locally and our country as a nation globally. Several months ago, the citizens of our community strongly affirmed their support of such an attitude with the passage of several local ballot initiatives for much-needed school building projects.

Several months hence, however, the efforts of our trusted citizens in support of our great schools are confronted with reports of key administrators’ departures and comments in the press suggesting our great school system is in turmoil and may not appear as we had perceived before the election confirming our support. This has forced many of our citizens to wonder why and to question their support of our schools.

The drama and the theatrics of individuals and their personal agendas have been portrayed in the press and in public over and over again with numerous failings cited.

As one known by many to be actively engaged in our local schools, let me redirect our attention and all of our efforts to those very kids whom we have supported with the passage of the ballot initiatives on new school constructions. This is not about the superintendent; it’s not about the assistant superintendents; it’s not about the principals or the assistant principals; it’s not about the SPED director and it’s not about the mayor or School Committee members. It remains about the kids and nothing but the kids.

However, it appears that such melodramas, while a clear distraction to our school mission, have provided the stimulus for more concerns about, discussions of and involvement with these issues within our school district by larger numbers from various parts of our community. There have been more editorial comments publicly and privately, greater School Committee engagement and more deliberate community participation at School Committee meetings.

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