Northwest NEWS

June 7, 1999

Editorial

Perhaps it's the district officials who need educating

   In reference to the latest levy failure in the Riverview School District, Laura Ritter, school board president, is quoted as saying, "Maybe it is a matter of educating the public."

   As much as district officials would like to blame the continuing election day failures in this district on an ignorant voting public, it is in truth the district officials themselves that need educating. The hard fact is that a community will not support a school board that does not support its community.

   Take, for example, the recent hard-fought effort of over 400 concerned Tolt Middle School parents. They met numerous times with the board to show the desire of the community to have lockers at T.M.S. Board minutes clearly show the growing frustration of the parent committee as they complained of being put off by the board over and over again. Claims by the committee that the school board was presenting data to their own advantage and preparing biased surveys was no surprise to those of us who have gone before.

   Hundreds of families have been coming forward for years with complaints of failures and inconsistencies in the handling of the Senior Project at Cedarcrest High School. But regardless of the numerous concerns, the project remains in effect and will continue as long as it is something the board itself wants.

   The truth is, in this district it doesn't matter what the cause you are fighting for. The Riverview School Board does whatever it pleases according to the wishes of its members, not those of the community it is supposed to serve.

   Not in the least bit surprising is the board's latest decision not to honor the community's desire to have the lockers reinstalled at T.M.S. I could have told you from the beginning that 400 signatures or 4,000 signatures would make no difference.

   We are not an "uneducated" public, and until this school board makes the decision to place its community's wishes above its own, they should not have the gall to wonder why, when voters go to the polls, this district finds itself without support.

Karen Hill, Carnation