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High schools represent

heart of their parts

of community

I heard a really goofy idea from a friend last week. He told me there was a plan about town to close our three existing high schools and consolidate them into one big new school somewhere in town. What a bizarre idea. Why do this? This sounds to me like a cure for which there is no disease.

This would have to be a very big school, which would no doubt have a very big price tag. A bigger school isn’t necessarily a better one. In fact, the bigger the institution, generally more difficulties are encountered with personalities and individual differences among staff and student body alike.

This is my home town, and I’ve lived here for nearly all of my 77 years. I taught science at Lafayette High for 24 of those years. I graduated from Central, and I even substituted at Benton occasionally. I know these places, and I know and respect a great many of the people associated with them. These schools aren’t just a building with an address. They have, over the decades, come to represent some kind of cultural standard for their part of our city.

North St. Joe has experienced decline over the past half century or more. The one remaining solid connection to their past is that high school.

I’m fairly certain that folks in south St. Joe feel the same way about Benton, and my alma mater, Central, bears a special place in my heart.

The reality is this: Our city has for nearly a century established three separate cultural identities associated with these existing schools and their heritage and colorful traditions. Uprooting it all to build one big new super school is simply a very bad idea.

In the best interests of our students, take care and preserve what we have. Its loss would be permanent and ruinous.

Dr. Lawrence Pilgram

St. Joseph

Let lawmakers know

who they work for

Partisan politics means taking one side or another. It means just what it says — after all, it is partisan. Government, on the other hand, means doing what is best for the greatest number of governees.

We, the people of the United States, established a government. Where is that government now? We, the voters, have abdicated enough control that we have permitted power and partisan politics to take over. We need to assert our power again and remind everyone that we are the real force behind democracy and we are the ones that matter.

In other words, we need to speak out in no uncertain terms.

The man in the White House, President Donald Trump, by his actions has demonstrated that he has either forgotten his oath of office or has no respect for it. Does he need to be reminded that he does not represent just himself and his family but all citizens of the United States?

America recently learned of the death of Elijah Cummings, Chairman of the Oversight Committee in Congress, which is one of the six investigating committees in the impeachment process. His loss at this time is a major blow. Rep. Cummings was a major figure in the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s; with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Jesse Jackson, and many others. He had the courage of his convictions — unlike the notable draft dodger (President Heel Spurs) in the White House now.

Our Congress needs to express the will of the people — all the people, or at least the majority of them. Too often moneyed interests speak the loudest in the USA.

This time, take the time to go to the library, your personal computer, or your phone and tell Congress to listen to the voting public, please.

Helen Brock-Thurston

St. Joseph