CSLA Parents Need To Get Over It - And Response (3)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It amazes me to see the local media butter up to the parents at CSLA in their plight for a new school. 

Some flaking paint, cracks and stuck windows. Man they have it so bad. 

Come on up to Falling Water Elementary where for several years the PTA bought paint and volunteers painted classrooms before school started or to Sale Creek where they will show you around their portables.  

Get over it. 

Jay Reed
Falling Water 

* * * 

Jay, 

As a CSLA parent I would like to thank you for your advice to “Get over it.”  I am also sorry that you were subjected to the “buttering” that we received from the local media. 

In full disclosure I have to tell you that we at CSLA have also bought paint and had volunteers painting classrooms. I myself have done this a couple of years as well as moved furniture for carpet cleanings and for the aforementioned painting.  

I really do wish that our only problems with the building was some flaking paint, cracks in the walls and stuck windows as you wrote. That would be beyond wonderful and I am sure that we the parents could figure out how to free up a window so that it would open, patch some cracks and get some paint on the walls. I am also sure that a tour around our portables would show you that they are in no better or worse shape than yours. 

I do not recall a single CSLA parent ever disagreeing that Falling Water Elementary needed to be replaced or that any money be spent on the other three approved projects. Far from it, we thought all of those projects should be done in addition to replacing CSLA and building a new East Hamilton Junior high school.  

Jay, did you know that a structural engineer has to come in every summer prior to school starting to make sure that the building is structurally sound enough before the school year every year as the foundation of our building is unstable, or that we have cracks in the wall that you can see outside through. After all just in case you didn’t know it, the building that we are in had already been shut down and was scheduled to be torn down prior to our school being started around 25 years ago.  

The school was started with the promise that if the school got results it would be replaced with a new building within five years. Now granted this promise was made by people who were in power at that time and are now long since gone, but the point is that the building we are now in was not meant to be standing over 20 years ago, much less now. 

I guess that in order to finish my above thought I need to write that the school did get results, and I would venture a guess that the results have exceeded the expectations that were in place at the time the school was started. 

In conclusion, Jay, I feel safe saying that I and other CSLA parents would say congratulations on the new building it was sorely needed for the children of your community, and I also pray that none of us would ever have written or said “Get over it” to you or your community had your building not been approved.  

Steve Morris 

* * *

Four of my five children go to CSAS. We have had the pleasure of welcoming CSLA’s students for many years. They are a great school and have been asking for help for a long time. Their building is crap, just like ours, just likes yours. Oh, the joy and beauty of public education. 

I don’t think anyone at CSLA is knocking the others schools. At CSAS, we, parents, have to paint our hallways and library, too. We have to rip up mildewy, moldy carpet ourselves and beg for scraps to make improvements, too. Anything cool done to our schools, we do ourselves. If you think that our buildings are all rainbows and butterflies, that Hamilton County comes and fixes and gives us everything we ask, you are sorely, sorely mistaken. 

Our schools have a proven success in graduation, post matriculation, and the “all important” test scores. So I’m uncertain why on earth, HCDE doesn’t want to make sure more of its students get the education offered by CSAS and CSLA. It makes zero sense. Hamilton County gives CSAS an amount similar to the cost of one year at Baylor, McCallie or GPS to run our school. 

One reason our schools are so successful is because we have involved parents that will stand up and fight. The local media isn’t buttering up to CSLA; they are covering news because the CSLA family made some noise. 

And by the way, CSLA has portables, too. 

Ann-Marie Fitzsimmons
CSAS Parent

* * * 

Mr. Reed, there is no question that the children attending Falling Water and Sale Creek schools deserve new buildings.  Peeling paint, portable classrooms, mold, and disrepair in general though seem to be happening in a lot of our county's schools.  No child in Hamilton County should have to be educated in buildings with peeling paint, mold, or roofs that leak.  The fact that this is accepted is a sad commentary on our community's priorities.   I am glad that at least four of the schools on the list needing replacements have acquired the support to have new buildings.  I do not understand why we have tolerated the state of disrepair many of our school buildings are in.  

Old buildings in disrepair tend to be the norm, despite the best efforts of an individual school's administrators, PTSA and parent volunteers.  This holds true for magnet as well as zoned schools.  Our children deserve safe facilities in good repair.  The failure of the school board and the citizens of Hamilton County to assure these are provided is the problem.  No one should be expected "to get over it." 

Joy Pirtle Jackson


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