Archive for Sunday, March 30, 2003

South issues

March 30, 2003


To the editor:

Most of the discussion about the Lawrence school system and the proposed bond issue has centered around the closing of elementary schools. The demolishing of South Junior High School and its replacement for some $21.1 million has received little attention. It seems to be considered a given that it must be done. Apparently the "circular floor plan" is "thought to limit learning," "the placement of administrative offices fosters building security problems" (J-W, Feb. 9) and "many elements of the building no longer conform to educational practice or are unhealthy and dangerous" (J-W, Jan. 20). "The situation at South is unhealthy and dangerous" (J-W, March 17).

When South Junior High School was placed in operation in 1968, it was considered an optimum facility and received accolades. Now it is considered the "pits."

Having spent 50 of my 84 years as either a student or a teacher, I have always had an interest in education. As a parent of a SJHS graduate, it appears that only one of the two following conclusions is appropriate:

1. If SJHS so limits the education of its students and is so unhealthy and dangerous that it needs to be demolished and replaced, then:

a. Use of the school for education should be stopped immediately.

b. Former and present students should file a class action lawsuit against the district for limiting their education and subjecting them to hazardous conditions.

2. If SJHS is satisfactory, it should receive updating and expansion as needed.

Which conclusion should it be?

Vincent U. Muirhead,


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