Remember when Schenley High School was closed? In 2008. Four years ago.
Remember when nearly 300 employees of the Pittsburgh Public School District (PPS) were laid off? Four months ago.
Schenley had/has a robust alumni group that vigorously protested the closure of an important institution to the East End identity. That’s fine. They are deeply involved in the ever-evolving plan for what the heck to do with the building. Again, fine.
But now … they have a petition up asking for the School Board to investigate whether then Superintendent Mark Roosevelt’s administration misled the public about the pervasiveness of the asbestos in the building.
I’m not a proponent of “the good old days” with regard to my high school (West Mifflin) or college (Marymount in Arlington, VA.) I wish them well, but don’t think about them (except when West Mifflin’s ongoing institutionalized racism rears its ugly head in the media.) So I don’t truly understand why the Schenley alumni can’t let it go. The students from 2008 are mostly graduated, right?
Still, what annoys the hell out of me is:
- the fact the budget constraints of the PPS resulted in a terrible loss of staff which disproportionately impacts those who need extra staff support.
- the fact that the PPS has a $9+ million deficit and might have to close more schools and to the point of asking/pleading for help from the community.
- librarians found the library in Manchester Elementary had 40 books and had to go to social media
to set that right on their own time.
The list of issues these well-intended alumni would benefit more kids in greater need if they themselves focused on these issues of equity and access to education – and stopped distracting the School Board’s attention with issues that are in the past. I’m not suggesting its okay if the Roosevelt admin did this, just that there are more pressing issues to address.For God’s sake, a former police officer is accused of SIXTEEN COUNTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE.
There are 369 signatures on this Change.org petition. Imagine is even half of them devoted their time, talent and energy to the very serious problems of 2012 and then further down the road explored the historical issue?
For the record, I don’t have children but I do live in the Manchester neighborhood so I’m clearly one of those people who need to be more involved.