Letter to the Editor

Time for change in Greencastle schools

Friday, July 6, 2012

To the Editor:

Over the past month, we have been dazzled by stories from the Banner Graphic detailing the actions taken by those who hold power in the Greencastle Community School Corporation. We hired a sitting board member as the new athletic director, and a state audit detailed over $344,000 had been spent over the past several years paying wages that were never approved. This week, comes a story that $3 million in checks had gone undeposited.

Clearly, not all is well in Greencastle and it's high time that somebody does something about that.

As the Board of School Trustees, you are trusted by the taxpayers to handle the day-to-day business of the school corporation. These decisions are necessarily ones that must be made by a small group, for it would be inefficient to have a direct democracy on every issue.

But, we don't even have an indirect democracy because the school board is appointed by elected officials rather than elected by those who pay the taxes that fund the schools.

We have heard that Greencastle is not a destination place to work, and blame our inadequacy for the seemingly annual changing of the high school principal.

Nothing that we have done has made Greencastle schools not a destination job. After all, we are located in the same town as a distinguished liberal arts college.

No, what is to blame is years of mismanagement and cronyism engineered by members of the school board. Not all board members are bad, but we have had too many who get places on the board to seek revenge for past ills -- those upset that their kid didn't start on the basketball team and the like.

We have lost a fantastic guidance counselor because we refuse to pay her the salary she deserves.

Teachers and staff members are afraid to speak out because a spiteful superintendent threatens to take away their jobs.

We have an atmosphere of fear in Greencastle, and unless we take our community back, that atmosphere will continue to spoil our education. The state has already threatened to take over the Middle School, how long before the others are similarly threatened?

Thomas Jefferson once said "A little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

If you are tired of the status quo, stand up and speak out. Start asking questions of those in power, the education of our children depends on it!

It is high time that the city of Greencastle have an elected school board, for only when we take the board back can we begin to make Greencastle schools the caliber they need to be, and our kids deserve all we've got!

Tyler J. Wade