McDonald High School can't forget student safety
I am a parent concerned about the unsafe practice at McDonald High School of administration, faculty or staff sending students off school grounds to walk home during school hours without the consent of parents.
When I drive my kids to school every day, I expect them to be there the entire day unless I am notified to pick them up earlier.
The principal told me that they do send students home on occasion without consent because they live close by. He really didn't see a problem with that. But McDonald High School's rule book states that for a student to leave school grounds, consent must be given by a parent or parent's designee.
This rule was not followed when my daughter was told by a secretary to walk home.
We live in a new development where construction is going on. I came home from my office to find my daughter walking between trucks and construction. She was visibly upset. I was in a panic.
My first thought was, "What is going on?" My daughter explained that the secretary at McDonald High ordered her to go home because her ruffled cap shirt sleeves were too short.
When I went to the school to find out why my daughter was sent off school grounds without my consent, the principal said that the secretary does have the right to send a student home if she thinks the student is not complying with the dress code. If a parent cannot be reached, the student will most likely be sent home without consent. But the principal also said that there was nothing wrong with the sleeves on my daughter's shirt and that she could return to school in the same shirt.
Where is the safety in sending a teen-age girl across town without a parent's knowledge? Normally, I am at work at that time and would have had no idea that my daughter was not at school. If something were to have happened to her walking home alone during school hours, who would have known?
No parent should have to worry about her child's whereabouts once she is at school. The school would be held liable if anything happened to a student sent off school grounds without a parent's consent.
New school right choice for Austintown voters
Soon voters in Austintown will choose to build a school campus for the 21st century. Why? Because existing buildings, especially Austintown Middle School, were intended to serve an era when nobody bothered with air conditioning, when energy conservation didn't matter, when nobody paid attention to asbestos or lead, when PCs and Palms and the Internet hadn't been dreamed of, when personal security was not a worry, and when nobody much thought about people's physical handicaps or learning disabilities.
Physical facilities, like your car or your computer, can be maintained or upgraded for only so long. Eventually, they cost more to fix than to replace -- and fixes become increasingly unsatisfactory at that.
Right now, Austintown can replace and upgrade while taking advantage of a state funding program that will ultimately reduce out-of-pocket costs for residents. Good deals like this come too rarely to miss.
Remember, old buildings -- like old cars and old computers -- won't magically become young again.
That's why the Austintown Growth Foundation has adopted a resolution urging support of the school bond issue. Voters can learn more at Austintowngrowth.com. And join us in approving the 3.9-mill bond issue on May 7.
X The writer is the president of the Austintown Growth Foundation