Northern New York Newspapers
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Tue., Oct. 6
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Crushing student dreams at General Brown


I am a student. But I’m not just any student. I go to General Brown, the General Brown projected for a $1.7 million deficit. On behalf of the entire student body, I have a few words.

For starters: There are students who go to General Brown. All these cuts? They affect us. Every single one of us has a dream.

For many of us, that dream of being a doctor or scientist or lawyer is gone. Gone in the instant the school board said, “We’ll have to cut this class to save money.” We understand that we don’t have the money. We know that things cannot stay the way they are. But we also know that for some of us, the dream of college may be just that, a dream.

We, the students, need some of these “extra” classes to go to college. One of my friends needs physics to get into almost all of his colleges for engineering. His dream was crushed. I need Advanced Placement biology just to graduate with enough credits. If things keep going south like this, I may not graduate on time. I could lose my dream of college.

Next: The arts. Always the first thing to go when our schools need to cut classes. However, art and music are crucial for us. Several studies have shown that when a student learns art or music, their performance in other areas increases. Dropout and absentee rates have even been shown to decrease in several studies.

We need our school. We need our arts. We need our electives. But what we do not need is the board of education looking down on us or not even taking notice of us. We do not need decreased graduation rates. We do not need our college plans depending on what classes the board does and does not cut. We cannot handle increased class sizes. Some classes are already too big to learn anything in.

We do not need the board and, to a larger extent, Albany, deciding our futures. When the future of one student is altered, the futures of all of the people around them are altered.

We are your future doctors, lawyers, teachers and politicians. If our future career plans are hindered, you may lose in the long run. Colleges are far too competitive for us to lose classes. The board of education and especially Superintendent Stephan Vigliotti have nothing to lose. My teachers could lose their jobs. I have everything, my entire future, to lose. Don’t let us lose.

Elizabeth Long


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