Last updated: May 15. 2013 8:34AM - 1108 Views

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Writer feels WVW ‘news’ fueled by rumors, gossip

As a parent of three children in the Wyoming Valley West School District, it has troubled me greatly to read some of the reports being published in the local papers in recent weeks.

My daughter served on student council during her time in the Middle School, and my son regularly attends the dances as a student there now. In all my years of experience with student council, both as a student and a parent, I have had only extremely positive experiences. I have never had reason to suspect any wrongdoing, or to distrust any of the extremely competent, caring teachers who give so freely of their time as student council advisors.

I can understand problems with personnel and administrative issues with procedures not being followed. Those kinds of things happen, and I understand completely that they need to be addressed and dealt with accordingly. However, what I cannot understand, and what I find myself struggling to explain to my children, is why an elected official who is supposed to represent our district would make statements to the media based on “lots and lots of rumors.”

It seems to me that if you represent something, it is in your best interest to emphasize the positive things, not draw attention to alleged negative activity, based on speculation and gossip.

I would think the school board members would be aware of the activities of the various student groups, since the board has to approve the yearly audits. If there is ever any confusion or questions about money that is being raised and how it is being handled and allocated, isn’t it well within the board members’ roles to ask the people in charge of those groups directly?

It seems to make better sense than publicly going on record saying that you believe something needs to be investigated, thereby implying that you suspect wrongdoing. Furthermore, student council is not the only group that sponsors dances at the Middle School, yet no mention was made in reference to any of the athletic booster clubs that host dances throughout the year. That omission almost suggests that the board member requesting an investigation has an agenda involving only the Middle School.

Instead of looking into the matter directly, it has only served to cast a negative image on the district which you were elected to represent.

My biggest question is, why isn’t the board or anyone else going to the media about all the positive things that Student Council does? Donations to charity, fundraisers, and student activities, just to name a few, all of which are intended to make our schools and our district a better place for our children to learn and grow and thrive. For instance, the board might have encouraged the news media to go to Blue Chip Farms Animal Rescue last week, when Student Council members spent the entire day volunteering their time for a cleanup. They could have gotten great photos and done a really nice write-up, showing exactly the kind of good that our students and our district does for the community. Rather than fanning the flames of gossip and political agendas at the expense of our students and their dedicated teachers, this is the kind of attention our district deserves to have its elected officials promoting to the media.

Melody Hargrave


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