To the Editor:

If Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education member Anita Kurn thinks that adding fight classes at Statesville High School will solve the discipline problems there, we should all be worried about her repulsive suggestions for solving other problems. Would she support — or even joke about — offering knot-tying classes at South Iredell and Mooresville high schools to address the teen suicide problems? Or pharmacology classes to stop the drug trade at Lake Norman and West Iredell high schools?

Instead of suggesting such ridiculous “classes” and paying lip service to what’s ailing our students, why not work to get the schools in Iredell County what is really needed the most: more mental health counselors, smaller class sizes and better staff support. Stop dumping the kids with the highest needs in the same three schools and then labeling those schools as “low performing” while refusing those schools the resources they’ve asked for to address the very gaps, needs and deficiencies the school board helped create. Students with mental and/or behavior problems who are not allowed in regular classrooms are housed at Northview Academy. The problem is that they have a very long waiting list. Children on this list are being dumped into normal Special Education classes where they totally disrupt any education just as they did in regular classrooms.

Right now we need Registered Nurses, trained counselors, teacher assistants and clerical help — and more qualified teachers. Providing decent pay for maintenance staff and bus drivers would solve the big problem of finding people to take these jobs.

Instead of plotting and scamming to build a ‘Taj Mahal’ High School, any real Board of Education would be screaming for a higher property tax base to ensure a decent education rather than taking care of real estate and construction people who are already wealthy. I’m told we can’t put excess students at
South Iredell and Lake Norman high schools in trailers because of security risks. Yet trailers at Northview are used to house students during their school suspension time. Many trailers are used for Primetime before- and after-school care programs.

If a new high school is built, the stadium will not be a money maker, as some board members suggest. Stadiums are a money pit — first to build and then to maintain and insure. Gate money is used for athletic equipment, uniforms, and referee officials. This money covers the expenses for all the sports at each school. Funding for music and athletic programs is needed for all our precious Iredell County children.

I pray to God that these Board of Education members, who hold the money and policy power over the fate of our babies, will resign so people who have the best interest of our students and this county can do what they have failed so miserably to do.

Judy Jackson

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