We need a new high school, but how can we trust the leaders?

To the Editor:

I attended Bowling Green High School nearly 50 years ago and I was back in the building a week ago. It looks old and worn out. It is clear to me that we need a new building.

For those who disagree, tape over all but two electrical outlets in every room of your home and see how that works for you. When the weather turns cold, shut off your furnace for two days and see how you feel. If for nothing other than reliable electrical and HVAC, we need to build a new building.

However, what about trust? Should we trust a school board to do this right based on our experiences of the last three years? Should we trust a school board who bowed to the teachers’ union leadership in keeping students out of the buildings longer than the other local school districts did, which is at least a part of our large enrollment decline? Should we trust a school board who continues to keep the details of the pipeline tax dollars a secret? Should we trust a school board who, when facing a multitude of building issues and lower test scores indicating lost learning, instead spends $750,000 on a new football field that most students will never use? Finally, should we trust a school board who, when faced with the reality of a sexual predator having access to students, held no one accountable and felt that just passing a new rule was sufficient?

There is no doubt in my mind that we need a new high school. I was a strong advocate for this in the community group process, but based on the aforementioned concerns, I doubt that it is a good idea to trust this board with $70 million of additional taxpayer money. While many may blame our superintendent for all these issues, I do not. He was hired by the board. They were elected to make these decisions, therefore all of these problems fall at the feet of our board.

As bad as we need a new high school, we probably shouldn’t give this board $70 million more ways to embarrass our school district and our community.

Richard Strow