Saturday, June 09, 2007



There goes the neighborhood…unless we stand up for our kids

The St. Charles School board puts me in mind of my daughter's computer game, Roller Coaster Tycoon.

I approved of it because, to win, players must balance a budget while building a theme park. They even have to tidy up after customers who get sick on the roller coasters.

But my daughter got bored with just raking in the cash. She created elaborate roller coasters that went so fast, the cars shot off the tracks and crashed, killing all the passengers. You could even hear the screams as they went to their digital deaths.

"It's just a game, Mom," she'd say. "They aren't real people."

That's how the school board must feel about district families. In the most anti-family move, ever – and turning a deaf ear to the screams – admin and the board concocted a financial crisis and spun enrollment figures to Chicken Little extremes, then closed two schools and got rid of good teachers. Word is, even though the district is rolling in money, the administration building – the old Harris School – is to be sold.

To what purpose, if the district doesn't need the money?

It can't be for the kids. The board is callously packing youngsters onto buses for longer rides to, in the case of Coverdell, crowded classrooms. Test scores are going down, for sure.

Again, to what purpose?

Well, where some folks see lousy test scores, other folks see opportunity - to privatize our schools, perhaps. Think that's crazy? Check out these websites:

In the meantime, we've got a chance to speak out. Please rally at the June 14 meeting of the school board (rally at 7 p.m., meeting at 7:30 p.m.) and call a halt to the so-called "reorganization," which looks for all the world like a corporate liquidation. The meeting will be held in the administration building, 1065 Country Club Road, St. Charles 63303. For more information phone admin staff at 443-4000.

And please ask your City Council representative and Mayor York to deny work permits for Benton School.

Because, since the board's facts and figures were misleading, and their agenda unexplained, the public hearings that were held were fraudulent.

Here's a question for the board: Mr. Hahn, why would you want to effect a hostile takeover and move into Benton School, which is surrounded by families who will – if you're unlucky enough to prevail – despise you for lying, for kicking children out of their own school, and for paving over the playground, not to mention lowering property values all around and gutting this unique historic building for the sake of an elevator. A very, very expensive elevator.

For those of us glad of an opportunity to hone our resentment, you, Karen Perrone and Linda Schulte will be a lot more visible when your seats are up for election next spring.

It's entirely your choice.


Peggy Whetzel
1017 North Third Street
St. Charles,
Missouri 63301