Letter: School officials disregard Page’s patrons
It makes little difference how the supervisors spoke out about mismanagement and financial waste as pertains to the "rebuilding" of Page Middle School. What matters is they did speak out.
Mr. Kiser and the school board have been asked many questions they fail to answer. There has been a shocking and callous disregard for the parents, children, teachers and the future of Gloucester. Mr. Kiser and the school board must realize when they are questioned by county supervisors and residents they are bound by the description of their job titles to provide factual and complete answers.
That has not been the case pertaining to the rebuilding of Page. Had Mr. Kiser and the school board kept the situation of rebuilding a school destroyed by a tornado reasonable, a new school would be opening this fall, the students of Page would have been in the closed T.C. Walker School building until new construction was completed, hundreds of thousands of dollars would not have been spent on modular units and would have been saved on consulting and design, millions of dollars would have been saved in site development costs and VDOT requirements, the new school could have been built complete in size and functionality with lower maintenance costs and the resistance they have faced would have been minimal.
The most responsible thing that can be done now is to commit to rebuilding a proper and well-built school on the original site and get it started ASAP. Continuing along the same course will only degrade the Gloucester School System further.
Unfortunately there are problems other than what to do about simply rebuilding a school. If teachers are truly hesitant to render opinions contrary to the school board’s then something badly broken must be fixed without haste. If school board members are truly concerned about the quality of education and the quality and morale of the teachers in Gloucester, they should seek out the feelings of the teachers in a manner that is uninfluenced, unbiased and free of negative reprisal from any aspect.
Gloucester does not need to experience what happened in James City County a few years ago where the superintendent and school board were ultimately replaced. The children and their families during those years were the ones hurt the most.
I encourage the residents of Gloucester to contact the school board members and let them know how you feel about their decisions pertaining to rebuilding Page Middle School.
Kenneth E. Hogge
Gloucester Point, Va.