I grew up in a nice town about half an hour south of Pittsburgh called Belle Vernon.
I loved living there. I also loved the school and my teachers.
I graduated 9 years ago, the school isn’t the same.
It is only natural for a school to evolve as time wears on. It will grow, add-on and prosper.
Well, it should.
Belle Vernon Area school district is not.
No, it’s doing the opposite.
For those of you who are still living there and have read the papers about the teachers refusing a pay freeze and all the horrible shit the board members say about them…do you know the whole story? Or at least part of it?
You see, for fear of being punished, teachers don’t speak out against the injustices that are being said about them.
Did you know that the board plans on turning the old 84 Lumber building by Gabes into a $1.3 million dollar sports complex, bus garage and walking track.
That’s great right?
Sure…if there was money to spend.
So why didn’t the teachers take the pay freeze then? They should do it for the students! Right? Wrong!
The board has decided to cut 26, yes 26, classes! Mainly arts, music and home ec.
Who cares about those classes?
Well, many folks do. Music and arts is VERY important. Not everyone who goes to college goes to be a lawyer, doctor or business person. Some go to be teachers, musicians, artists and even chefs. Those classes they are cutting…those classes are important to those kids.
Not to mention, the arts are needed.
I was in band from the time I was in 3rd grade (Yes, I was an 8-year-old playing the clarinet) until I graduated. Music taught me more than how to play the clarinet. It taught me discipline. I had to make time each day to practice. Had I not started playing, I never would have had to learn how to balance school work and practicing my clarinet.
Music gave me an outlet for my creativity. In fact, it is what sparked my love for writing, reading, musicals and the orchestra. How did it inspire my writing? My teacher. That’s how. He has such a strong passion for his love of teaching and music, that when I found that same passion for writing…I kept at it.
It was a means of self-expression. I could throw all of myself into my lessons and the concerts. I had such an overwhelming sense of pride at the end of a concert that it helped to boost my confidence. I felt like I belonged somewhere. It was amazing that 50+ students were able to come together and play such beautiful music in such wonderous harmony. We learned how to be a team, how to rely on each other and how to trust one another.
The Belle Vernon Area School Board is also cutting calculus and Speech I and Speech II. Yes, they are getting rid of an important math class and public speaking. Those classes DO affect more than the ones who use music and arts. How are these people able to get away with this?
They have been so irresponsible with money and their power that it’s the kids and teachers who are suffering now. These students want to learn, they want to play instruments, sing and learn. The school board is preventing this.
So what is your school taxes doing? Helping kids have THREE study halls a day.
What can you do about this?
Go to school board meetings. Let these people know that this is NOT okay. That you will not put up with it and you want new people in!
It’s not the teachers…it’s the school board!