To the editor,
Recently we received a letter in the mail, duplicate copies actually, of a letter addressing the Elkin City School Board. The letter was signed simply, “Concerned.” After reading the letter and reflecting upon our own personal experiences, we must acknowledge publicly that we are also, “Concerned.” The letter we received, in essence, was anonymous, and generally, we do not give much credence to anonymous opinions. We learned from a respected principal, Reid Lowder, early on in our respective thirty-seven year careers that if one feels strongly enough about an issue to speak out publicly about it, then he or she should own that opinion. If, however, one of the issues is actually concerning the fear of reprisal about having those opinions, then we can certainly understand the perceived need for an employee to remain anonymous. It is sad to say, but we understand it. In today’s economy, it is absolutely necessary to have job security, and a person must put the well-being of his or her family first.
The letter we received raises concerns about the efficiency with which the Elkin City School System is being led, specifically by the superintendent. Other issues expressed were concerning the lack of respect and feelings of intimidation felt by many of the school employees both certified and non-certified. In our experience, we have seen that children are affected very positively when there is an atmosphere of respect, comradery and a free-exchange of ideas and opinions. The reverse, however, is also true. The children are negatively affected when the atmosphere is one of low-morale, intimidation, and suppressed opinions. In our roles as teachers and parents, and now as grandparents, the main focus of our concern has always been, and remains, the students. With that in mind, we would like to ask the following questions of the Citizens of Elkin, “Are you concerned?” “Are you questioning?” and to the Elkin City Schools Board of Education, “Are you listening?”
Phillip and Debbie Parrish
Retired Teachers, Elkin City Schools