A Plea for Our Children


A Plea for Our Children by Laurel Sutton - Miller Place Resident

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We were so poor, that we couldn’t even afford “free” services… sounds like a Rodney Dangerfield bit, doesn’t it?….unfortunately, it actually refers to many school districts right here on Long Island … and in this particular case, the Miller Place School District. It’s actually pathetic; almost comical (unless you live here)… one of the most sought after school districts, for years, can’t even afford “free” services. Why is that? There are lots of theories…even more finger pointing… and you know what? – “IT” doesn’t matter anymore.… “We Are Where We Are…..…so….what do we do now? Our education system needs to be fixed; unfortunately, it’s not going to happen over night. So what can we do to survive another year or two? The children of our district are all relying on the adults who live and/or work in our community to help them, but no one seems to want to really sacrifice more than they “feel” they should have to. It’s so frustrating and exhausting. Having fought this battle for more years than I care to remember, I have concluded that there is no hope for our children if our public education system remains status quo. (e.g. how it is managed, how it is funded, how it is determined what can or cannot be offered in our schools, etc..etc..) A friend of mine jokingly suggested that we claim bankruptcy – that way all contractual and financial obligations would be null and void. And then I began wondering, what if all public school systems claimed bankruptcy – maybe then we could rebuild a system that worked. No, I am not advocating that we do that… but I am wondering if that is what our country is headed for. Union attitudes and strongholds would have to change…. administration practices and costs would need to be revised…. government priorities, funding and mandates would be reviewed and re-organized. But, I’m sure the negatives far outweigh any of the positives that would result from such a situation. Yet, something has to change and everyone has to make some concessions. The taxpayer has been holding up their end for years and will hopefully continue to do so, but now it’s time for the administration and all the various people and groups affiliated with the education of our children to make the necessary adjustments and compromises to get our system working again. If you really want our children to flourish and grow so that one day, when they are the leaders of our world, then you will do whatever it takes, right now, to insure that they will have received every aspect of education available, (which not only includes the basics, but also cultural exposure, business knowledge, leadership opportunities, social experiences, mentoring practices, scientific and technical skills, environmental awareness, athletic development, management development, general living and survival skills, etc…etc…etc…). All of us, especially our children, are counting on “All of You” to do the right thing.