Letters to the Editor

Say 'no' to fifth-graders attending middle school

I do not approve of sending Battery Creek cluster fifth-graders to Robert Smalls Middle School.

The Beaufort County Board of Education and district administration argue that it's fine; it was done at Lady's Island Middle School. It may have worked in the beginning because the principal and teachers from Lady's Island Elementary helped to implement the program. Many of the fifth-grade teachers have left to go back to elementary schools.

Lady's Island Middle is a different building configuration than Robert Smalls, and just because it worked there doesn't mean it's in the best interests of our children.

This is an excerpt from one of only two responses that I got back from 11 school board members:

"We as a board often have to deal with issues that affect the entire district, not just one school or cluster. An example is budget, which gets us into the most effective use of space and facilities in order to maximize resources available to each classroom. The fifth grade at Robert Smalls is such an issue, and I pledge that that is how I will consider it."

Issues should not be decided because they're the most effective use of space. These are children, not textbooks. We are not warehousing them.

It's time for the Battery Creek cluster to stand united and say "no'" to moving our fifth-graders to middle school.

Ivie Szalai