Aug 01

Write from personal experience

BETRAYAL
By Marina Sprague, Chelsea

An issue that matters to me? That's easy. I don't like the closing of small schools (school consolidation). I don't think the state should have the right to close a school, especially one that has  been around for so long, to save money (which it didn't). I don't want to hear all the 'it will give students school choice' or 'students will get better options/educations in bigger schools'. We were doing just fine. Our town is a small community. What makes you think we want a bigger school? We are used to small and we like it. I don't like that the town had the option to close my high school. WHY DON'T YOU ASK THE KIDS THAT ACTUALLY GO THERE? I want everyone to know my story on this. 

My school was a kindergarten through 12th grade school. Yes, we were small. My average class size was 10 kids. My last year before they closed the high school was my sophomore year. I had gone there my entire life. I was robbed of my last two years of high school. There was no way I was going anywhere else. That school was my second home. Both my mom and dad graduated from there and my sister was in the last graduating class. I am very bitter about that. I only had two years left. I have friends in the class above me that only had one year left. In my mind, that is cruel. 

I was very close with all my teachers. I miss them a lot. I never felt like my education was lacking because we were small. If anything, I think we got a great education since we could be so personal with the teachers and they really knew how we learned best. All the teachers were dedicated to us and knew all of our personalities. Just because we were small doesn't mean we didn't have opportunities. Plus we had the advantage of learning respect and community. We had many days of entire school activities where all the classes would be split into groups. The high schoolers got to hang out with the elementary students. Everyone had fun. Knowing everyone in the school is an amazing thing. Being one of the older kids means helping out with the little kids. We were taught responsibility and the little kids looked up to us. Sometimes kids don't listen to adults but they will listen to a high schooler that they look up to. 

I'm not trying to paint a picture of my school being perfect. It definitely wasn't. But I believe it is better that bigger schools. I think school should not be just a place to get an education. It is such a big part of everyone's lives. Having a school be its own community is a great thing that I believe makes everyone a better person and more prepared for the real world. 

I can't get the day out of my mind where we got the news that it would be the last year before they closed the high school. The entire staff and students were crying, including me. I still cry whenever I think about it. We all felt betrayed and robbed. It was a very rough day. I know that I couldn't think straight. We were practically a family that was getting ripped apart. 

Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe I'm not. But all I know is that I don't want any other kid to have to go through what I did when they closed my high school. 

(Editor's Note: Also see story in VtDigger.org, June 11, 2018: Merger madness? The last days of Chelsea High School)


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