Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Letter writing campaign

There is a lot of noise on the Town Crier website about the letter writing campaign by some community members.

I believe that attacking these people for thoughtfully expressing their concerns to the county board is inappropriate. These letters (sample copy below) ask the county board to take some specific steps to help mitigate the impact of their decision to grant and renew a charter to BCS. Few people in our community would be unaware of the history of this issue, so churning up years of "you hit me first" is unproductive. Those who do so only diminish the conversation.

I am deeply saddened and disappointed by the response of one SCCBOE member who dismissed the concerns of the citizens he is elected to represent. As an elect official, I live with the consequences of each decision I make. If I vote to discontinue a popular program, I would never think to thumb my nose at a parent who then raise concerns about how it might impact their child or their family. I have already heard from members of the SCCBOE who do not share that view, and are disappointed and frustrated by their colleague's behavior. I would like to remind anyone who addresses SCCBOE on this topic to rise above any feelings of frustration his response may create. By sticking to the facts, by asking for specific steps from the county board, by being rational in the requests, you have the greatest possible chance of swaying those who might be "on the fence". I am pleased to say that I haven't seen a single bad response from our community, which speaks well of those who are putting their time and effort behind this.

To those who say that the letter writers are misguided, or wasting their time (or SCCBOE's time) I wonder- would you feel the same way if those letters were in support of BCS? All the letters do is ask SCCBOE to remember the impact on ALL public school children in our community, not just those at BCS. No one is asking to close BCS. No one is asking to change their program. The focus is on being fair to all students, and to providing good governance and oversight. I am pleased that members of our community, in finding their voice, have done so eloquently and thoughtfully.

Here is a link to one of the letters I've seen- they are largely similar. Some are more personalized, or focus on a subset of these points, but they are all positive, constructive requests to officials who represent all members of our community. I applaud them for getting involved and being a "part of the solution"

By the way, if you are interested in joining those who have decided to raise their voices on behalf of LASD students, here is the link.