Thursday, January 31, 2013
I have been reading letters to the editor regarding Walla Walla High School. It appears there are citizens who feel that our children have plenty to work with and do not need such extravagant extras as bathrooms and air conditioning.
Some voters seem to believe the school district does not exist for the purpose of educating our children, but rather to cheat the taxpayers and squander their hard-earned dollars. It’s clear to me that this tiny letter in this one newspaper is not going to change the minds of those citizens.
If only there were some way for these voters to be heard. If only the school district leadership was accessible to the public and willing to answer questions, allay concerns, have an honest and forthright conversation. If only voters had the opportunity to tour Wa-Hi and see what huge changes in the learning environment could be wrought with small changes to the infrastructure. If only they could tour some completed projects and talk to administrators and teachers to get some first-hand accounts of the positive and lasting effects of a carefully executed project.
But, alas. There is no way for people to see classrooms crowded with more and larger children than they were ever designed for, where teachers cannot physically navigate to the back of the room. They can’t observe how cold classrooms are in winter, and see kids trying to do work with coats and scarves hampering their movement. They can’t witness the frustration of science staff trying to teach advanced placement curriculum without the space or equipment to safely carry out required labs.
Oh, wait! Perhaps they could phone the school district office and speak with the communications director or superintendent. Maybe they could attend a Patron’s Tour, get a free lunch and speak with administrators, teachers and students. It’s possible they could make their way to any number of public meetings to get information and ask more questions. If that’s not enough, maybe they could visit wwps.org to watch video tours and interviews.
Since it’s clear these measures aren’t enough opportunity or information to change the minds of certain voters, I’m relying on the rest of you to immediately mark your ballot with a “yes” vote and return it now.