While I still believe that the mainstream media often has a rush to judgement about negative news about certain schools, I do have a problem believing that certain BOE members (who have been very responsive in the past), or Dr. Lathan ignored this group of parents. I noted in a previous post that at the September BOE meeting I only saw one parent from PHS come forward to speak to the BOE.
In an e-mail sent to local bloggers, Rev. Watson states the following:
We have repeatedly asked for Board Members to come meet with us to discuss our issues and no response. We have contacted Dr. Lathan as far back as May, and had no response. If The Chamber of Commerce or any other organization deemed important by the B.O.E. or Superintendent requested their presence, they would attend. We, as parents, are tired of groups/members of the public that have no children at PHS spreading false rumors and accusations against our children and school staff. We felt the closure of a high school was a mistake but we have to make the best out of the situation. Those in the public that are spreading rumors, we ask you to stop because it does nothing but harm all the students of PHS. There is much truth to the adage if you can’t say something positive, say nothing at all. You are there to represent all the students of District #150 and set an example. How do you think our students feel after hearing these unwarranted accusations? Remember, the Board voted to close Woodruff and now it is a Peoria High problem? It might behoove you in the future to have solutions before decisions are made.
We also are offended by the fact that nothing was done by the Administrative staff to prevent these stories from exacerbating on Channel 25 and in the Peoria Journal Star. Stories like this could likely be ran about every school in America, but the Board and Administration reacted to the stories by recommending staggering dismissal times, etc., in essence, blaming PHS. Again, more assumptions about our Peoria High students. We understand that there will happenings, but it is not exclusive to Peoria High. These incidents occur across every school, across every city, across the nation.
In summary, we feel we are receiving disparate treatment as issues are ongoing at the other schools, yet they do not receive the unwarranted attention that has been thrust upon the Peoria High School community. The Board of Education and the Superintendent have failed to address and plan regarding the issues mentioned above. We do not appreciate the inaccurate perception that is being portrayed to the general public about our school and we are extremely disappointed and frustrated with the lack of information and support that we have received. Randy Simmons and his staff are the best of the best and we expect to be treated as such, which provides for a domino effect to the education and fulfillment for the PHS students. Our children deserve no less.
We have asked for School Board involvement and been ignored. We have asked for District150 Administration involvement and been ignored. We will no longer be silent about the injustice being perpetrated against PHS and our children. Let all who read this know if you want your child to be taught by the best and cared for by the best then PHS is the right place for your child!