Vote must end debates

Published 10:03 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It is a process that must come to an end; a debate that must reach a conclusion; a decision that must be reached and it must happen this Thursday

The Selma City School Board is scheduled to cast their vote Thursday evening at Payne Elementary School on a plan proposed by Selma Superintendent of Education Donald Jefferson closing three city schools beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.

It is an idea that has been hinted at, talked about, discarded, brought back to life and then discussed for months. It is an idea that preceded Jefferson and this school board and it is an idea that has caused more strife among board members and the community than anyone had ever expected.

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Unfortunately, the debate over whether to close Byrd Elementary, School of Discovery and the Phoenix School has had racial overtones and pitted one community against another.

The discussions have at times been heated, leading to passionate parties on both sides of the discussion airing dirty laundry in the media.

The debate has brought forward problems with school vandalism, theft and school upkeep. It has brought forward discussions on personnel qualifications, leadership abilities and the results of one faculty over another.

We are confident the idea to close these three schools was based merely on the efficient operation of the school system and that monetary savings was the driving force behind the schools selected and the plan proposed.

The vote must take place Thursday, once and for all ending this painful period. Whether the plan is approved or voted down, the next step by those in leadership positions must be to start rebuilding relationships and rebuilding trust in one another.

In the end, the goal of our school leaders must be the education of our children and the growth of our community.