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.