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Manteca Unified board should not cut high school leadership classes

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POSTED April 2, 2009 4:53 a.m.
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The recent news of the school board’s decision to eliminate some unnecessary classes is set to have an adverse effect on one particular high school class: leadership. This comes at a time when our superintendent, Mr. Jason Messer, is going to see a pay raise when school board members and teachers are suffering from pay cuts.

Now on some aspects I see why the board considers leadership classes an area where the district can afford to cut funding. It is obviously not an academic class, and with consideration given to cutting AP classes under 30 students, there is little reason to save the leadership class.

As a member of my school’s leadership class, however, I can say that leadership class isn’t just a part of our school day where we sit back, relax, and socialize. Leadership class is time set aside for a group of students who care enough about our school to work together to put on school functions for the benefit of the students and the community.

If you take away leadership class, you take away dances, rallies, and even homecoming. These aren’t simply social events; these occasions are where memories are made and where friendships are formed. We were all in high school once; how would we have felt if we hadn’t had a senior prom or homecoming royalty? What if your memories of high school weren’t the good times you had at the pep rallies, but instead the kid you sat next to in English class?

I understand that everyone is feeling the financial pinch these days. I, like most citizens of our community and our country, know what it’s like to cut costs when you don’t want to. Still, I urge all concerned citizens to contact our school board and remind them that money is expendable, to paraphrase Franklin D. Roosevelt, but memories are not.
 David A. Cushman
Manteca
April 1, 2009
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