Sunday, May 27, 2007

Letter To The Editor - May 26, 2007 - From Kelly Begg - Re: School Trustees Closing Stafford Sec.

I am just sick with the thought of my children having to walk in the dark to LSS, spending approx. 2 hours everyday walking to and from school. Unless of course they want to take transit, its only 2 buses, 2 overcrowded buses, oh and whats another $60.00 per student a month to pay for the bus, and such a nice area of Langley to have to transfer buses in the dark along with hundreds of others trying to get to school on time.

What incentive to go from a school that has offered so much, and been such a close knit community to a school that doesn't offer the Fine Arts Program, doesn't offer the AVID program, doesn't offer the football program.

A route to LSS will take the majority of the HD Stafford students thru vacant land (by the airport), bush area, no sidewalks, crossing over Fraser Highway, crossing over the By-Pass. A route with very few houses, a route where anything can happen to our kids. As a single mom, am I going to have to take time off work everyday to get my kids to and from school? Work a shorter day, hence a drop in pay - explain that to my boss! Are my kids going to have to give up after school activities because it will be dark by the time they are over? Because they need that extra 1 hr or 1.5 hr of commuting to do homework?

Is there going to be room for these kids from Stafford to participate on school teams at LSS, the grade 8 girls soccer team at LSS, had enough girls to field 2 teams? how much playing time will each girl get to play? Has LSS been seismically upgraded? will my kids be safe at this school? Stafford's enrollment is on a steady increase, next year my understanding is we will have a full football program. Have you looked in the local papers to see what these kids from Stafford are achieving academically and in sports???? Do you really think that by taking away our high school these kids are all going to automatically go to LSS? there are other schools. By closing Stafford you aren't necessarily going to solve the declining enrollment at LSS.

To save a few bucks you are risking these kids safety and their futures. Perhaps smaller salaries to the board would compensate for what we are supposedly short financially. Perhaps not wasting money on reports that were so inaccurate they weren't worth the paper they were written on would help save money.

Have you even listened to the options put out by the students and parents of HD Stafford? Have you heard anything that the students have said? Is your hope that if you have enough meetings, parents will start not attending and you can take that to mean we accept what you're trying to force upon us? You are so wrong and should be ashamed of yourselves. I thought education was about our kids. How can you even consider destroying a school, a community to save a few bucks. Reports show that a smaller school doesn't cost more than a large school to operate, reports show that there is less bullying in a smaller school, reports also show that Stafford is not lacking in options for our students. Take off your blinders, open your ears and listen! If Langley City doesn't have a high school will our taxes be adjusted accordingly?

Listen to the students, listen to the people of Langley City, remember you were "hired" by the people of Langley City and you can bet that we won't forget all our time you you have taken us away from our families to attend these meetings, the stress and anxiety you have caused our children and the parents of these students. You need to have some compassion for the students and their families of Langley City.

I was once proud to say I lived in Langley City, I'm not so proud these days because of the uncaring, unfeeling people we hired and trusted, what a big mistake!

Mayor Fassbender will obviously have to change his welcoming letter on the Langley City home page, “"The Place To Be” for everyone. The place to live and raise our families, the place to do business and ultimately the place to build our futures!"” that sure won't be the case if you get your way. Even your own home page "Working together for student success through excellence in education. Empowering all to make quality choices today for opportunities tomorrow" Its obvious you don't stand behind your promises if you push thru this horrible plan to turn HD Stafford into a UNWANTED middleschool.

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