Students should not pay the price for greedy developers
I am a parent of three Charles County school students. Like many other parents, I am highly distressed over the proposed redistricting plans. The Board of Education has chosen plan A, which still moves roughly 2,221 students to new schools in the 2018-19 school year.
After attending two of the public hearings held by the school board, I — like many parents — am outraged. Approximately 600 of the 2,221 students being moved are would-be fifth graders, who will now be forced to change schools. These children will not see nor benefit from the new and improved Dr. Mudd or the Billingsley schools, because both schools don’t open until 2019.
Many of these children have spent their entire elementary school careers at one school and will now be forced to graduate in a new one. Parents echoed the same thought: it’s only nine months; let them stay and finish where they started. Why are the children being forced to lose their fifth grade year in the school they love, only to be placed in another? Why do the children of Charles County have to suffer for the greed of Charles County developers? These are just some of the questions posed to the board of education at Westlake High School on May 22.
The children who are redistricted for Dr. Mudd will attend the Dr. Mudd Transitional School. Some of these children are J.P. Ryon students; they will be driven past their former school five days a week for the entire school year. For those who don’t know, the transition school is built on the land between Hanson/Ryon, which means the students can turn around and look directly at their former school every day. To me that’s bullying, taunting and harassment of our students in the highest degree.
Mudd, by the way, is not a school — it’s several trailers taken from John Hanson Middle School hooked up to a brick monstrosity. Also to accommodate this, J.P. Ryon now has to have a later start and ending time and the buses will have to stagger as well. Hanson was forced to give up half of their parking lot so Mudd could have one. We have Mudd teachers,
students, parents and buses coming this fall; how can the BOE not see the traffic nightmare alone? The Ryon/Hanson complex is inconvenienced in all the worst ways possible, as they both lose much-needed space to accommodate Dr. Mudd. They are ripping up the basketball courts and tearing up the softball field as well.
All of this is not even a dent in the chaos that is brewing: let’s talk about the subdivision called Adams Crossing [in Waldorf]. There were two accidents in four days at the beginning of May. One did involve a day care van leaving Ryon and another vehicle; the other involved two cars, but it did delay the buses leaving that day. It is large and also has only one way in and out, as they share Vivian Adams Drive with the schools.
Every parent of a Ryon or Hanson student has the right to be outraged — we are the ones who will have to deal with this for two years. Our students will be caught up in this for two years. Not to mention the BOE now has plans to start the dialogue for a middle school redistricting as well. The children of Charles County should not have to pay the price for the greed of Charles County developers.
Malinda Smith, Waldorf