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No confidence in school management

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The administration of Juneau-Douglas High School may not be able to maintain a safe environment, keep racist graffiti at bay, properly handle the retirement of a dedicated coach, or retain some well-qualified Native administrators and teachers, but at least it is capable of dramatically crushing a Christian rock concert.

Recently a new high school was turned down by voters - a decision not approved of by the School Board, which is now rushing to rewrite a bond issue in such a way as to befuddle voters into passing the project after all.

School officials say the issue is cost. I disagree. The issue is one of parents' confidence in the ability of high school administrators to do their job properly. The way the recent concert was ended shows just how little respect administrators have for the students in their care. That an unsafe and threatening atmosphere exists, for some students, is additional proof of this lack of respect for students as individual human beings.

I dislike Christian rock music as much as the next public school official; to be honest, whenever I hear Christian rock music I can only cringe as I think of classic hymns such as "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me" or "A Mighty Fortress is our God."

But, then, I'm not a teenager in 2004 and I realize not every generation can be so fortunate as to have "The Monkees" or "Gary Puckett and the Union Gap" guiding its popular music, as I had.

There is always talk of laying off teachers. Why is there never talk of laying off administrators? Until there is, or until confidence is returned to the management of the high school we do have, voters should resist the pressure to build a new high school on the same unimaginative foundation the present one rests upon.

Richard Schmitz

Juneau



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