Principal’s support of public forums refreshing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 11, 2006

To the Editor:

I’m the non-custodial father of a child in the Selma City School System.

Recently, I attended a school board meeting. Besides having a hard time finding out when the meeting was going to be held, I was deeply disturbed by how many empty seats I saw in the auditorium that night.

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In fairness to the parents, there may have been legitimate reasons why they weren’t there. Some of them may have had to work, some may not have known the meeting was going to be held that night, or some were plain and simply apathetic. But a part of me couldn’t help but to think that the parents weren’t made to feel like they belonged there. The public school bureaucracy is notorious for being unresponsive to parents concerns, especially non-custodial parents who have to cut through even more red tape to be involved in their children’s education, and Gerald Shirley’s proposal to give parents a voice in public forums is both astute and refreshing.

Giving parents a voice, I think, will renew their waning confidence in public schools as well as give them a stake in their children’s education by making them a part of the educational process as opposed to treating them as something extraneous to it.

“Openness, as Mr.Shirley stated in his letter, is wise policy.” It’s a policy the Selma City School Board would do well to adopt.

Terry Lewis