SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Responsible school board needed
By Eileen Small


May 09, 2006

This is a simple observation by a parent of a student in Revilla High who will graduate this year. The prom was last weekend and I understand it was fabulous! My daughter went, but I would like to make the community aware of the difficulties that the Revilla students tolerate to participate in an event that I feel, in a small community such as this, should be readilly open to all graduating seniors.

This year, the prom was held at "The Landing". Previously, the prom was always held at Kay-high. The Revilla students were not even told where the prom would BE (though the ones who were going paid for tickets in advance, just as did the Kay-Hi students). When I became aware of the change, I called both the Revilla principal and the Board of Education to discuss this issue. I received apologies but, frankly, no promise of change. The simple fact is that Revilla students are treated as second class citizens within the Ketchikan school system. The Revilla seniors are not invited to participate in the Senior Carnival or other "senior" events. They do NOT march at graduation with Kay-Hi. Their text books are old and inferior to what the Kay-High kids get. I understand that Revilla was supposed to get a sizeable grant to help with some of these issues this year---yet in the end it was denied them.

Kay-High has a very low drop out rate---mainly because they transfer their "at risk" kids to Revilla where then many do drop out. This is strictly semantics in my opinion. This is a small community and whether a child technically drops out of Kay-High or gets transferred to Revilla where they may drop out is only an "on paper" issue to make the Board of Education look better. Nothing is changed---the kids are ALL Ketchikan kids! Revilla has many successful students who apply themselves, graduate and then go on to college. They achieve this, I might add, at 1/3 the cost of educating and graduating a student from Kay-High, though they do not even receive the simple courtesy of being notified in advance of where the prom will be held or of being invited to participate in other senior events!!!

I think our entire community should look at this issue and consider it when it comes time to re-elect school board members. We need a responsible school board who consider ALL the children of this small town not and are not elitist in nature!!!

Eileen Small
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: Eileen Small is a citizen in Ketchikan.


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