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More money for counseling unwise expenditure

I quote from an article in the Jan. 29, 2020, edition of The News and Tribune that states that over the next 10 years Floyd County can expect to add about 1,500 more students to our schools, particularly with the dramatic growth already approved in the Georgetown Elementary and Highland Hills Middle School areas. I’ve also heard it said that both these schools are already at capacity.

I see this same growth happening with the U.S. 150 corridor out to Greenville, particularly with Greenville requesting approval to extend sewer lines east to Billy Joe’s.

If you are a taxpayer living in Floyd County, as I am, this should raise a host of red flags. Will we soon be asked for more taxes to either expand these two schools or to build new ones? The answer is “most likely” or, more accurately, “of course.” Which brings me to the current School Safety Referendum request of $25 million over the next eight years.

First, I think our schools have to be made as safe as possible. Both Superintendent Snyder and Associate Superintendent Jensen say they are safe now. The $25 million referendum, if passed, would be split 70% for mental health professionals and 30% for building safety and School Resource Officers (SROs). Personally, I would prefer more be spent on SROs than is being planned.

While I agree there are children who would benefit from mental health assessment and counseling, I also agree with a friend who has allowed me to quote her thoughts as follows: “No matter how much money we pour into the school system … we cannot ‘bandage’ a child’s mental health that is perhaps a symptom of his/her environment or the apathy of a disconnect with parents. Not to say all issues children have are because of the way they are raised. There are exceptions. But, so many times parents ignore warning signs and just say, ‘Oh, he is in a mood.’ They make excuses … until it is too late. So, I don’t think this referendum will do anything, because if a child doesn’t believe he has a problem and his/her parents aren’t considering his/her issues as an emergent problem, well, then, the resources the school system is proposing will be of no significance.”

I say “no” to this School Safety Referendum because most of it is focused in the wrong direction and also in view of what will most certainly be asked of us taxpayers in the not-too-distant future.

Carol Lamb | Floyds Knobs, Ind.

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