October 21, 2014

Think before you switch districts

Posted

Many parents have threatened to remove their children from the West Branch-Rose City school district over the past several months, after several controversies within the district. However, we urge those who are considering moving their kids to make sure they are making the best choice for them.

In February, the district decided to close Rose City Middle School, moving some students to Surline Middle School in order to save the district money. This decision caused a lot of Rose City parents to consider moving their kids to another district, which led the Ogemaw County Public Transit to commission a bus to run students from Rose City to St. Helen so they could attend Charlton Heston Academy.

Then, over the summer, several Rose City teachers wrote letters requesting leniency for former teacher Neal Erickson, who was convicted of criminal sexual conduct. As a result, many parents asked the district to fire the teachers who wrote the letters, threatening to pull their kids from the district. Many said they planned to homeschool their kids.

We certainly understand parents’ concerns. Our children need to be in a safe environment. They also need to be in the best environment for their education.

That’s why we encourage parents who are considering pulling their kids from the district — or who may already have — to take a moment to think about what option is the best for their kids.

In the end, just as important as the children’s safety is that they get the best education they can get. Sure, homeschooling might seem like a good idea, but there are reasons schools exist. Not all parents are qualified to teach their children — and many more work full-time. Drastic lifestyle changes may be needed in order for homeschooling to become a reality, and such decisions should be carefully considered.

Not only that, but pulling your kids from the district only to send them just as far away to another seems more like a decision made out of spite than because it’s best for the kids.

We’re sure there are some students who would benefit from going to another district, but at the same time, there are many who wouldn’t. Parents need to take the time and make an informed decision, not a knee-jerk reaction. If it’s truly better for your child’s education and future to pull them out of the district, then by all means do it. But if you’re only doing so to take a shot at the district and make them suffer, do you really have your children’s best interests in mind?

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