Letter: Disturbing and unfair comments

Posted
Editor of the Reformer,

I am writing to address the disturbing and unfair comments spoken by Mr. McFadden at the Jan. 14 West River Modified Union board meeting. Specifically his comment describing Jamaica as a "greedy town" during discussions about school choice where the superintendent announced 16 students are transferring out of Jamaica Village School.

I find it appalling that a member of the newly formed "unified union" board would make such a negative and derogatory accusation about something the Jamaica community was totally unaware! Jamaica has always supported the Leland & Gray Supervisory Union and willingly accepted the changes brought by Act 46.

The information given that evening about the transferring students was bound to be upsetting and sad for our community, not to mention for the Jamaica Village School employees! Our school has educated many generations of Jamaica residents, many who have gone on to make valuable contributions to our state and our country. Several of our present and past parents have spent countless hours volunteering their time to give our students extras that tax dollars could not support. The thought of losing our school is difficult, but as always we are open to exploring any and all options for our students.

This incident reflects on the entire board, not just one member. I call on the board to realize the seriousness of this incident and discuss how it wants to be perceived by communities it serves. This type of insensitivity should not be tolerated! The actions the board takes around this incident plus development of plans and actions to insure this type of insensitivity is not repeated should be an immediate priority.

Patricia Dickson

Jamaica, March 7

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