Bravo to Harding students and their walkout

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Consider this a big vote of support for the hundreds of students at Harding University High School who walked out of classes and lined up along Allegheny Street yesterday. The students were protesting the school board’s plans to close Harding, and they say the protests will continue in some form until the Nov. 9 school board vote on the issue. In the dull, timeless way of authority everywhere, CMS is meeting the students’ actions with hostility and threats of discipline for “general disruptive behavior.” Big bad CMS let it be known to all and sundry in its kingdom that the Harding students who had the audacity to take a stand for their school will receive an unexcused absence and a note in their discipline records. Oooooh. And students who are being told they’ll have to leave their beloved, historic school should give a rip about unexcused absences why?

If anyone should receive some kind of slapdown, it’s the new, overeager school board and the techno-head bureaucrats who keep coming up with plans that treat students, teachers, principals and, now, entire schools as mere pieces to be moved around on a game board. Note, too, that all the hubbub is over potential cutbacks in the next budget  — cutbacks no one can definitively say will or will not happen. For lack of space, we won’t go into the exceptions CMS regularly makes for certain schools in the ‘burbs, but that doesn’t mean that special treatment isn’t part of the problem, too.

The school board’s plan to close Harding High — if something devised on the spur of the moment can be called a "plan" — was announced at the last minute after Waddell High supporters rose up against the original plan to close that school. Waddell High was named after the late  husband of new school board member Joyce Waddell, but I’m sure that has nothing to do with the decision to close Harding High instead, right?

Spankin' new school board member Joyce Waddell
  • Spankin' new school board member Joyce Waddell

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