Bond not for adults; it's for kids, grandkids

I am writing to ask the citizens of Fayette County to vote "yes" for the upcoming school bond. Even though I no longer live in West Virginia, I still have a deep concern for my “home.”

I spent my entire life involved with the Fayette County school system either as a student or employee. I graduated from Montgomery High School, taught at Ansted Elementary, and was principal at Beckwith and Mount Hope Elementary. Following a 34-year career, I moved to a warmer climate.

During my time in Fayette County I saw many changes in the school system. However, it was not enough. Maintaining the status quo is doing a disservice to the current and future students.

I live in the fastest growing area of South Carolina. Families are moving here because of job opportunities and the good schools. You can’t have one without the other.

It breaks my heart when I return home to visit family and friends to see the condition of the schools. Your children deserve better.

I know that people will say that I have no stake in this since my taxes will not go up. They are correct. But I still have a love for Fayette County and its future. My fear is that if the school bond fails, Fayette County has no improved future.

Please vote for the school bond! It’s not for you, the adults; it’s for your children and grandchildren. Give them what they deserve.

My feet may be in the South but my heart will always be among the hills.

Randy Rhodes

Indian Land, S.C.

Vote no; don't sacrifice Meadow Bridge kids

To my fellow Fayette County residents. Please take a moment to place your feet in a pair of Meadow Bridge shoes. The distance from Meadow Bridge to Midland Trail is 26.2 miles and takes about 39 minutes to drive in a car. It will take longer in a school bus stopping and picking up students on its route.

Meadow Bridge students will have to get up earlier, ride longer and get home later than all other Fayette county students. They will not be able to participate in after-school activities. They will be left out and overlooked with any type of school function that helps build self-esteem and school pride.

I totally agree ALL of Fayette County needs improvements in their schools. What happened to the school plan from a few years ago?The plan was to keep four high schools (Oak Hill, Fayetteville, Valley and Meadow Bridge). The deteriorating Collins and Ansted middle schools would be converted to Midland Trail as a middle school. The students from Midland Trail could go to Oak Hill, Fayetteville, Valley or Meadow Bridge.

Please consider that Meadow Bridge is an isolated school and our students should not be sacrificed. At the Meadow Bridge meeting with the Board of Education on May 7, one grandparent spoke and suggested to make an amendment to the bond proposal and leave Meadow Bridge an isolated school.

Yes, all of Fayette County needs help, but Meadow Bridge students do not need to be sacrificed for this proposed bond.

Fayette County residents, please consider NO to this proposal and pray for a better solution for ALL Fayette County students.

Susan Moore

Meadow Bridge

If bond passes, money likely will be wasted

After reading all of the articles in the paper about the school bond and hearing the comments about everyone paying their fair share and about it being time to step up to the plate and do what’s right, I decided to add up just how much of my property tax from the past six years went to the school system — $5,108.95.

That’s a lot of money.

Take a little time and add up how much money that you’re already paying. It may surprise you. With every taxpayer paying these large amounts for schools over the past 15 years or so, how did the folks in charge of our school system let so many of the school buildings get in such bad shape. All buildings need upkeep from time to time.

If we vote for this school bond and these school leaders get millions more dollars, it will most likely be wasted just like before.

The school leaders that have been in charge for several years want to downsize our school system. They have let our school buildings deteriorate on purpose. Now the superintendent is refusing to let other inspections be done by different firms. I suspect that they already know these school buildings could be saved at a fraction of the cost of new ones.

I will vote No on June 13 and I will vote No for any school officials that are for this bond at the next regular election.

This foolish wastefulness has got to stop. We need a better plan!

William Atkins Jr.

Robson

Is bond really about 'all' the children?

I have read several pro-bond letters to the editor, most of which are from a small radical group of selfish citizens, who think it’s all about Collins. They pretend concern for all the children in Fayette County and incorrectly scare the public into believing the current bond solves the aging school problem.

Is it “all” the children of Fayette County or just “their” children? Where would these people stand if they didn’t currently have “their children” in school?

I think the readers can tell you how this “self-interest” group would feel about the upcoming bond and higher taxes. Would they be supporting this bond if “their children” were going to be subject to long bus rides all the way across Fayette County to a consolidated school? Where was the “me and my child” crowd when we all needed them?

The Meadow Bridge Citizens for Community Schools was formed in 2000 and provably fought for “all” the children of Fayette County. We continue to believe in that battle for all children. I keep reading “Let’s all come together and support this upcoming bond,” but what I see is “let’s all come together with exception of Meadow Bridge and Fayetteville high schools.” I have heard negative comments about MBHS that include they don’t even have a street light over there and let them find some place to send their kids to school.

The present board is cashing in on the history of let them die on the vine. They have now condemned the upper level of the MBHS due to three alleged faulty floor joists inspected by an engineering firm with a conflict of interest. They protect this claim by not allowing an independent structural engineer to do an independent inspection of the structural issues and provide a full professional report.

Unbelievable! Another “runaway government agency” supported by special interest. Three of the Fayette County BOE members and superintendent continue to show their personal agenda by following the footsteps of failed plans from the past. Provide a bond that will give support for “all” children of Fayette County and you may see it pass or stick with the same faulty plan and see it fall in litigation.

Gary Walker

Spring Dale

How much do you value county’s children?

I had the opportunity to speak at the Collins Middle School bond meeting held on April 30. Since some people were unable to attend, I have decided to share my words. Below is what I said:

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Ethan Thomas, and I am a fourth grader at New River Elementary. I am in the class of 2023. For those of you that may know me, I’m a little into sports.

That was a joke. Sports are a major part of who I am. However, that is not why I am here today. I am here today to tell you how much I love school. Yes, you heard me right. I love school. I love learning new concepts, diving into a new Fablehaven novel, long division, just ask my teachers. I even had the opportunity to attend gifted classes at Collins Middle School. Well...I did anyway until we were relocated.

Ladies and gentlemen, I come to you today because I am confused. I am confused of why we have to have a meeting like this. Our buildings are falling in around us and we are actually arguing about funding for a new one?

You see, the 140 fourth graders at my school are about to be promoted to the fifth grade. I want you to think about that for a minute. We are in a beautiful brand new school with a library and state of the art technology. We are being promoted to a building that is surrounded by condemned ones.

Imagine for a minute that you were finally awarded that promotion at your job that you’ve worked years for. You leave your beautiful office and you are sent to a molded, mildew small space. And you’re forced to be there because the people that make all the decisions don’t think you’re worth more. Well that’s how we, the students, feel. We feel we are worth more than being spread out over three campuses. We feel we are worth new buildings. I am tired of going to basketball tournaments at gorgeous state of the art facilities and come back to Fayette County where we have duct tape holding together some of our floors.

I hear so many adults talking about money, buildings, etc. What about us? What about your children? We are your future and you are making us feel like we don’t even matter. This isn’t an Oak Hill thing or a Fayetteville thing or a Meadow Bridge thing, it is about doing what is right for all the students in this county.

I am afraid of what will happen if this bond does not pass. I’m blessed to have a wonderful home where my mother provides a loving environment. However, some of my friends aren’t so lucky. They look forward to school so they can eat, feel loved and feel safe. How loved and safe do you think they feel when you argue about whether or not we are worth a new building?

Well, I’m here to tell you: We matter, and we are worth it. Please help us so we can help ourselves. After all, we are your future and we are counting on you to be our voice.

Ethan Thomas

Oak Hill

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