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Letters to the Editor

LHS traditions

June 19, 2010

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To the editor:

The group of LHS supporters called “Building on Traditions” should rethink their priorities. The group seeks “to carry on the rich tradition that is LHS” by spending $301,790 to prettify the outdoor sports complex.

The group’s website brags (with justification!) about the school’s educational and extracurricular accomplishments. The site correctly links extracurricular participation to academic success. But how would buying bricks increase athletic participation?

Let’s stay out of a prettification competition with Free State High School. LHS isn’t about looking pretty. It’s about helping a broad mix of kids to succeed, regardless of their race or family background or family income. Will spending $100,000 to enhance scoreboards raise SAT scores, lower times on the track or in the pool, improve batting averages, teach calculus, or improve violin vibrato?

It’s pathetically easy to think of better ways to use $301,790:

• The terrible first-year Latin books badly need replacement. Let’s buy new books, not new signage.

• Extracurriculars all charge for participation, ranging from equipment rental to attendance at celebratory dinners. Let’s establish a fund to ensure that no student is ever left out because of money.

• Although drug and alcohol use are rampant in both high schools, the district is reducing support for prevention specialists. Let’s help students get clean and stay clean.

Perhaps LHS needs simple ticket booths if they would increase revenue. But that’s enough! The school’s traditions live in its staff and students. By valuing dead bricks over living students, the fund drive dishonors a great school.

Comments

Tammy Copp-Barta 4 years, 1 month ago

I get so sick of people thinking they can help schools by continuing to contribute to athletics instead of academics. KU caters to athletics and see where they are right now! Rethink your direction here and let's provide things that will help our kids succeed .. heck .. as a thought, change the admission on night to "everyone bring a brick or plant" night and you could be done in no time!

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fromlarryville 4 years, 1 month ago

Didnt hear anyone complain when someone donated $500K to build the concessions and lockerooms at Freestate, LHS needs these also. Look at all the stadiums around KS its about time Lawrence schools have their own facilities, and they are looking pretty good. Attendence at the games brings in revenue, sorry but nobody pays to attend science projects, or to hear a speach in Latin.

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JohnRosen 4 years, 1 month ago

fromlarryville suggests an interesting idea--that high school finances should work just like network TV and magazines. Classes should be evaluated in terms of their audience and revenue potential....Latin is a drag, who understands a word?--slash the funding. Math--puhleeze, you've got to be kidding, a total loser; one or two sections should be enough instead of the current twenty. Maybe the schools should hire a few infomercial specialists to spruce up the classes.

I'd hope, though, that most people in the District understand high school as about education rather than entertainment.

As to Free State--I'm not part of that community, and FSHS boosters can do what they want. I'm just concerned with how the LHS community spends its money: to teach and encourage its students, not to play "mirror mirror, on the wall" with the other high school.

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