Viewpoint: Boundary plans — What shouldn’t matterThe headline of the March 12 Viewpoint (“‘Blue plan’ is best for all neighborhoods”) was unbelievable. It is journalistically irresponsible that one would print a title that is not true — even on an Op Ed page.
By: Donna Erickson, Viewpoint Writer, Woodbury Bulletin
The headline of the March 12 Viewpoint (“‘Blue plan’ is best for all neighborhoods”) was unbelievable. It is journalistically irresponsible that one would print a title that is not true — even on an Op Ed page.
The blue plan is not what is best for all neighborhoods. Not one plan — red, white or blue — is best for every neighborhood. If that were the case, none of this discussion, and I use that word very kindly, would be taking place.
It was never my plan to really pay that much attention to the boundary issues. My thought was that the school board will make the right decision — that’s their job: look at the numbers, pick what is the most sensible decision and that would be that. But after months of this, I had to step up and get involved.
There was a letter to the editor recently in which a woman praised the civility and calm she witnessed at a recent boundary meeting. That nice woman must not have been sitting in the group who mentioned the lawsuit that they’d be filing if the plan they opposed was chosen.
I hoped all along that it wouldn’t be a case of the “squeaky wheel getting the oil” and then suddenly there are unbelievably-biased articles running in the paper that actually admit to the fact that by saying their piece they plan on influencing the board. So much for my faith in the system.
Now all I can believe is that everyone is going to get to rant and rave — and whoever rants and raves the loudest and the longest will get what they want. Why would anyone believe differently now?
I won’t say where I live, although I know many will be checking out the Woodbury phone book map as they are reading, or which plan is best for my family, because it shouldn’t matter.
We all want what is best for us, no matter how much we may preach about how this plan works or that plan is the best. It all comes down to each individual family.
Which makes me seriously question why we were even given this task. How could a school board not know this is exactly what would happen?
It doesn’t matter whether your kids and their friends swim together in their community pool or run through the neighbor’s sprinkler in a backyard. It doesn’t matter if your house is worth $600,000 or if you rent an apartment. It shouldn’t matter if you gather 1,000 signatures stating your case for a certain plan or get your opinion stated on a community newspaper’s front page. Everyone should count equally.
Whether you have lived in your neighborhood for 10 years or one year, it just shouldn’t matter. How the numbers fall is all the board should be looking at.
We all moved to Woodbury for a reason, whether far away from out of state or as close as from Maplewood. I’d be hard- pressed to find someone who didn’t love the community feel no matter which neighborhood they ended up moving into.
No one is unique being a part of their community — we all live here, frequent the businesses, attend church, etc.
I can only imagine what it feels like to be one of our Cottage Grove neighbors, reading how horrified some seem to react at the thought of their children attending their beautiful Cottage Grove Junior High. Has none of these people been to Cottage Grove?
Besides the fact that they are so very close in proximity, we share the same school district, and draw from the same teacher pool. I hope that the people of Cottage Grove know that not everyone in Woodbury opposes attending “their” school.
Kids are kids are kids — and those kids make, keep and lose friends throughout their school years. No matter where one attends school, each grade brings new classmates and new friends.
I know a family whose kids have never attended the neighborhood school and their friendships still thrive in our neighborhood. One of my daughter’s best friends did not attend our neighborhood school, yet their friendship has flourished for over ten years.
At any grade level, kindergarten through senior year, some friends will never share a class — yet remain close friends because they live by each other. It’s just not right to use kids and their friendships in any of these attendance boundary issues.
I could round up the neighborhood kids, have them put on their Woodbury shirts — of course, everyone has at least one WAA uniform shirt — and take a picture in front of the neighborhood park or in front of the school we are closest to — but I won’t. Or should I?
Erickson is a resident of Woodbury.