SCHOOL DISTRICT NEEDS TO DO THE RIGHT THING
<This letter was written to the Rye City School Board and sent to the paper for publication.>
At the September 24 Board of Education meeting, Dr. Byrne showed immense integrity by admitting error in his choice of venue for the 2020 Rye High Graduation, and even more so by shouldering all of the blame upon himself. But to be fair, the School District is not a dictatorship, and you, the board members with whom he surrounds himself are our friends and neighbors and community’s voices; we voted for you to speak for us. As our representatives, you failed us when you put the celebration of education behind sports, but now you have a chance to rectify your error. We ask that you listen to us and give our students back <<their>> graduation day on <<their>> field.
Earlier this year you came into our homes and asked us to come together as a community to vote for an $80 million bond that would put our schools first. Last night at the Board of Ed meeting, you spoke of how education is paramount to Rye City schools. You succeeded in bringing us together to pass the bond, even though none of the students graduating in 2020 will ever reap its benefits. Now we, as a community, are asking you to be our voices and put the celebration of education of these same students, from one of the best school districts in the nation, ahead of sports and ahead of appearances.
Your bond proposal presentation clearly stated that field construction would begin in “Summer 2020” and there would be no disruption to academics. If you renege on your promise, you will compromise our trust and demonstrate where the value of education falls in this district. If, however, you choose to do the right thing, 30 years from now, when we finally pay off this bond, the students who graduate on Nugent Field on 6/20/20 will fondly remember their great Rye graduation tradition, like all of the students who came before and after them. I assure you the students whose practices are somewhat compromised in the fall of 2020 will remember nothing.
You have a second chance to represent your community, and to put education first. Do the right thing.
- Suzanne Saurack