23 Aug 2014
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The Battle Over the New High School

Mom columnist Christine MacKenzie says the school debate is sending the wrong message to the town's youth population.

The Battle Over the New High School

These days, in Wilmington, there seems to be one subject and one subject only; the plans for a new Wilmington High School. It is, without a doubt, the one subject that everyone in town seems to have something to say about. 

I need to make very clear that, as a mom and a lifelong resident of Wilmington I support the plans for a new school 100 percent. I feel strongly that when we, as residents, to approve the plans for a new school we were, at the same time, proving our commitment to the town as well as it’s youngest residents.

Yes, in December as the vote approached, I expressed my support for the project and encouraged other residents to do the same. Today I stand by my words and remain as committed as ever to the plans for a new school. I look forward to a new school and all that it will be able to offer to the residents of our town.

That being said, like most people here in town, I have been following coverage of the high school project right here on Patch.  I read the articles, follow the updates and take an interest in all that is going on.

That means of course that, like everyone else, I have been watching the situation erupt into what can only be described as a virtual war of words. Yes, I do believe that everyone has a right to their opinion even if it doesn’t agree with mine. Yes, I do believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion even when it doesn’t agree with the majority. No, I don’t believe that voicing ones’ opinion means having the right to exchange insults and spread a constant stream of slander.

I don’t believe that making a mockery of our town and our system of government is acceptable and I don’t believe that trying to “undo” the decision already made by the majority is the right thing to do.

Let’s face it. A new high school is about making a commitment to better educate our town’s students. What lesson, exactly, are we teaching those students when we resort to name calling and bickering? What are they learning when adults are reduced to trading sarcastic barbs? What are students learning when town residents vote overwhelmingly to improve our school system and, even then the project can’t get started on time?

The town’s residents have voted overwhelmingly in support of the project, the and, yet, the arguments seem to continue to intensify.   

All in all the whole process seems to have become a “how to” manual in teaching our kids that, even when things are done legally, , they can still go terribly wrong.

I hate to see the example being set for our kids and know that we, as Wilmington residents, can do better than this. I agreed with Town Manager Mike Caira when he called the high school vote the most important decision that the town had to make in the past 40 years and never dreamt that, all these month’s later, progress would be stopped by .

For as long as I can remember this town has stood behind family values and good neighbors. We owe it to all of the town’s kids to set a better example and find a resolution that will help get this project underway.

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