BoE’s Presberg slams printing of letter as ‘feeding racist attitudes’
Our family has been quite upset since reading last week’s published attack on Sandy Creek High School.
How can a newspaper be so irresponsible as to publish an anonymous attack based on hearing about one part of one isolated incident? As far as we know, no one tried to do any reporting or fact finding related to Sandy Creek High School. No one checked with any administrators or students. No one called any parents or teachers.
Because if they did they would know what we know. Because we’re there every day. We know that there is no unique discipline problem at Sandy Creek. We know that athletes are no more favored than AP students, or award-winning DECA club students, or any other of the students who are known personally by their teachers as hard working members of the Sandy Creek community. We know that there is no difference in the behavior, interests, ability, worth, desire, or any other qualities between the students at Sandy Creek and any of the other students in our county.
Why would a newspaper publish such a letter to the editor? The letter was a broad generalization based on one person’s account of what they heard about one incident. The letter denigrated a whole school’s culture based on what is essentially gossip, or hearsay.
There’s only one reason that the newspaper would publish such a letter, a letter that describes Sandy Creek as an “inner city school.” The only reason to publish such a letter is try to divide our community through fear. This letter preys on people’s fears that children who don’t look like their children, or dress differently than their children, or speak differently than their children, are not safe to be around. By printing an editorial like this, the newspaper is providing a forum for and feeding racist attitudes. And that is deeply offensive. A community paper should inform us and help us know each other better, not feed our misunderstandings and fears.
To print this also shows woeful ignorance of the true challenges faced by real “inner city schools.” Schools such as Harper High in Chicago where last year 29 current or former students were shot. (You can listen to a powerful podcast on Harper at http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/487/harper-high-s...). Schools where the entire student body struggles so much with daily survival that the children who truly want to learn and the teachers who really want to teach are up against insurmountable odds. No child at Sandy Creek or at any Fayette County school lacks the opportunity to succeed if they choose to do so.
We are father and mother, current and future student, board member and physician, coach and player, mentor and friend. We support every student at every school in our county. We treat everyone as our neighbors and members of our community. And we do this regardless of what our neighbors look or dress like, where they come from or what language they speak at home. And we will stand up to blind stereotyping, bullying and name-calling from wherever it comes.
Because we are Patriots.
Leonard Presberg, School Board Post 5
Elizabeth Moore, MD, Women’s Medical Center
Emma Presberg, SCHS ‘14
Eli Presberg, SCHS ‘16
Isaac Presberg, SCHS ‘20