Du­laney com­mu­nity de­serves a new high school

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Kara Bolonda, Ti­mo­nium

A fair amount of cov­er­age has re­cently been given to the de­crepit state of Du­laney High School’s phys­i­cal fa­cil­ity, but, af­ter at­tend­ing Du­laney’s Home­com­ing last week­end, I am com­pelled to tell the rest of the story (“Board gets look at pre­lim­i­nary de­sign for ren­o­vated Du­laney High School,” Aug. 19). Even as the build­ing, fields, and phys­i­cal plant of Du­laney has sunk into an un­ac­cept­able and un­safe state in the last decade, the spirit and unity of the stu­dent body has, amaz­ingly, ex­pe­ri­enced an in­cred­i­ble re­vival.

I hear sto­ries of the pow­er­house that Du­laney used to be, scholas­ti­cally, ath­let­i­cally, and in ev­ery way — but when my old­est ar­rived at Du­laney nearly a decade ago, there was very lit­tle school spirit, no sense of pride or unity, and only a per­vad­ing sense of “why bother.” One ath­letic team had no idea what any other teams were do­ing, ath­letic kids didn’t min­gle with kids in­volved with the arts, and few both­ered to show up for even the home­com­ing foot­ball game, let alone any other events.

Flash for­ward to 2016, when ev­ery sin­gle team en­joys the sup­port of other teams dur­ing their spirit games, en­tire ath­letic teams show up en masse to sup­port their friends per­form­ing in plays and the band, and even un­in­volved com­mu­nity mem­bers get caught up in the pride, spirit and en­thu­si­asm at Du­laney’s home­com­ing pa­rade, bar­be­cue and game. Alumni proudly min­gled with cur­rent stu­dents at the bar­be­cue, and there was stand­ing room only at the game.

I lis­tened as many par­ents and alumni ex­pressed amaze­ment at the turn-around in school spirit and pride they were wit­ness­ing. This is all a credit to the in­cred­i­bly ded­i­cated, pas­sion­ate and tire­less teach­ers, ad­min­is­tra­tors, coaches, par­ents and stu­dents who make up the Du­laney com­mu­nity.

De­spite the in­ex­pli­ca­ble ne­glect Du­laney has en­dured from our elected and paid lead­ers in BCPS and lo­cal govern­ment, the Du­laney com­mu­nity is thriv­ing, as our teens are served daily by Du­laney’s staff, who are the best of the best. These hard-work­ing pro­fes­sion­als, as well as our teens, de­serve to have a safe fa­cil­ity that re­flects the ex­cel­lence of the ed­u­ca­tion and growth hap­pen­ing in that build­ing.

Du­laney High School is a gem that BCPS should be proudly show­ing off — not silently stonewalling with the in­sult­ingly in­ad­e­quate re­pairs that BCPS is slated to be­gin next year. Our taxes should not be squan­dered on Band-Aids; the Du­laney com­mu­nity de­serves far bet­ter. It is time for BCPS, the county, and the state to co­op­er­ate on be­half of this amaz­ing school com­mu­nity and com­mit to a new Du­laney High School.

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