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A student's perspective

The town of Longmeadow and all of its citizens of voting age are personally, legally and morally responsible for the children of this town, as the generation of voters before you were responsible for you. Do not forget, that these men and women worked to support your education through taxes.
As a citizen in good standing, and more importantly, as a person, I am entitled to live in a healthy educational environment. It may be news to you, but open asbestos, cockroach infestations around the school and cafeteria, mice running through and interrupting classes, temperatures that make it difficult to hold a pencil and other such conditions, are just not acceptable in a learning environment.
Yes, it may be a tough financial time for everyone, but since everyone is pouring the debt onto the backs of the generation currently being educated, it does not make sense to leave them with an unprepared to enter the workforce so essential to reducing national debt. We all know many will vote against the school because of ulterior financial motives. One could put off the taxes now, but shockingly, when it comes time to sell your house or mortgage it, it won't be worth much. Logically, a family will not move into a house, no matter how pristine it is, if their children cannot go to an accredited school without serious health risks.
Furthermore, the money which the opposition claims should go to hire more teachers cannot be used to hire teachers. The state will give money only for the construction of a school they think is within the worst 10 schools in Massachusetts. Even if we could use money to hire teachers, the horrendous quality of the school will deter any quality educators from coming here. If a teacher is given a choice between two schools, why would they choose a school that could actually be deleterious to their health? In fact, earlier this year, a student had to leave the school simply because it seriously affected her health.
Your sophomoric lies cannot change the simple math. The town can a) pay for a subpar patch job now and then pay for a new school a few years down the line entirely itself, or b) get the new school we desperately need now and get reimbursed. In short, we can pay for a) a patch job and an entire school without any fiscal support, or b) pay for half a school. Think about it. And no, we cannot change the plan; the state will only help now, and it will only help with this plan.
I will not manipulate facts. I don't need to. The school is that bad. No exaggeration is necessary. I would love to give facts and specifics about the school, but frankly, there are too many issues to even start explaining in a letter to the editor.
And by the way, I am a senior. I will be leaving in less than a month. I don't want a new school for me. I don't want a new school because it will be more comfortable. I know that Longmeadow High School needs a new building. It needs a new building that both provides a good place to learn and is safe for the both the students and faculty to spend six and a half hours 180 days a year for four years.
Madeline Collins
Longmeadow



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