To the Editor:
I am a parent with three children currently in the Warwick Public Schools. I have two children that will be directly affected by the possible closing of Warwick Veterans High School and Gorton Junior High School. This concerns me greatly and it seems that the recommendation to close Vets does not take into consideration the negative effect this will have on students in the midst of navigating the difficult high school years. Forming friendships with peers, forming relationships with teachers and coaches is something that will be stripped away from these students. Taking away the closeness of a community-based school is something that I would imagine would be very difficult on our kids, and could greatly interfere with their success in high school. My daughters will be entering grades 11 and 7 this coming September, and I can only imagine the problems and anxiousness this disruption will cause. They have already begun to express anxiousness about such a move. My daughter who would be entering grade 7 could potentially be at three different schools in three years. Children need stability and consistency to succeed in school, not uncertainty and instability.
As a parent, I urge you to support other options and keep our children’s best interest in mind. I know many parents in our community are very concerned about our kids potentially being split up into Toll Gate and Pilgrim and viewed as outsiders, and many will be forced to consider other options such as private schools or charter schools. There has already been backlash against the Vets community when Vets was vandalized by graffiti. This just shows the very beginning of what our children will experience entering a new school. Someone needs to think about the effect on the children and not just the politics of it.
How about the teachers who have dedicated their lives to our children, who have been a part of this community for years? Many may not have jobs as soon as September, or may be bumped into a different position or forced to teach another subject just to keep a job. Who do you think will lose in that case? It is our children.
On a side note, both the Long Range Planning Committee and the Warwick School Committee may tell you they are unbiased, however each has members with children in the other proposed schools. They may tell you they are voting fairly, however they already have a biased opinion in not wanting to close there sons’ or daughters’ schools.
Our children deserve a fair shot at success also! If it was your child, wouldn’t you want the same?