The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 4, 2013

Your View: Redistricting raises some questions

By David Guilford
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — A recent Joplin Globe article was about a meeting held regarding the Joplin School District and a group of parents who presented an alternative solution to the redistricting report’s recommendations.

First, I would like to thank board member Jim Kimbrough for wanting to seek more input from parents and wanting to work with parents on their concerns.

Second, a person on the committee stated the committee had to be careful about appearing to cater to “special interest groups.” I feel this is precisely the problem we have had in our school district for the past few years.

It is time for everyone to realize that parents are not a special interest group and neither are taxpayers. Parents are taxpayers, and every member of both groups have a vested interest in everything going on in our school district.

Parents send their most valuable and precious assets (their children) to our schools. As a result, they have a right to know everything that is going on down to the details. Since taxpayers are paying the bills, they have the same rights.

For quite some time now I have recognized some problems in our school district, and I believe they are now spreading. The main problem is an attempt to keep the public (parents and taxpayers) out.

This started with not allowing the public to speak at school board meetings unless they are speaking on an agenda topic. Now I feel that mindset has spread to people serving on the redistricting committee with the comment about special interest groups.

It seems that if an idea is not generated by our administration, it is not even considered. However, for our district to be successful and safe for children and employees, we need input from everyone on a real safety committee.

David Guilford