As Marie said, ‘let them eat cake’

Injustice is always upsetting to see and to experience.It’s wrong. Discrimination should not be tolerated. It’s wrong.

There have been many justifications and rationalizations presented by members of the school board in defense of their decision to close Holly Springs and A.R. Lewis elementary schools.

olivia6-25 Page 4A.inddI don’t think these arguments hold water when examined in the light of day.

What I do believe is these rural schools have been singled out for closing simply because of their locations, rural populations and the unique cultures and heritage of their communities.

I don’t believe the decision is based on economic necessity because of the little problem the board has with credibility.

When gas prices were sky high a couple of years ago, there wasn’t enough money allocated in the budget to cover running the buses. There was talk of closing down athletic programs to pay to run the buses.

Well, this year a lot more money was allocated for bus transportation than was needed. I wonder what will happen to the surplus.

We’ll never know.

Some years ago, Easley High School had such a serious problem with mold in some of its classrooms that a number of students developed serious health problems — so serious that some parents were forced to relocate their children to other schools.

When the board finally allowed the building to be tested for mold, they directed the testing to buildings that weren’t affected by mold problems. Yes, they had the clear buildings tested so they didn’t have to spend the money to correct the problem.

It wasn’t until a group of parents sued the district and won a settlement that the mold problem was treated. It would have been much less expensive to simply rectify the problem when it was identified than to deny it, label the sick students scapegoats and troublemakers and risk the health of hundreds of children. But instead, lots and lots of money was paid out when the lawsuit was lost. We were never allowed to know how much.

School board members, are you ready to destroy communities because the affected voters don’t live in your district? Clearly, the answer is yes.

Have you so little understanding of the education process to think the children ripped from their communities will thrive under these circumstances? If you answer honestly, the answer is yes.

Apparently these children are expendable. These communities are expendable. Appalachian culture and heritage are expendable.

Preserving the fabric that holds the communities together is essential to the well-being of the whole.

Why are you really doing this? I don’t believe for one minute that finances are the driving force. If that were true, you would simply vote to raise millage slightly or cut expenses in other places.

There have been rumbles in the county about discrimination suits being brought. I would not be surprised. I have been told that the U.S. Department of Education has been contacted for help, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union, based upon what some believe are attempts by the school board to cleanse the district of the pockets of Appalachian culture and heritage in its rural mountain areas.

And apparently this is perfectly alright with board members whose own attendance areas aren’t affected. They’ll sacrifice the ones least able to defend against this attack, and they believe not only that they can get away with it, they honestly believe it is perfectly alright to do this.

The message we take home with us is “If you can’t vote for me, then I really don’t care what you think.”

Clearly the public outcry against this decision is in vain. It doesn’t matter that the children in these schools did well or entered middle school prepared to excel there. It just doesn’t matter.

So don’t waste your breath telling us how much better off we’ll be without our mountain schools. There’s an old saying — “Just because your mouth opens and shuts like a prayer book doesn’t mean it is one.” Amen.