I received a disturbing email from "Anne" who is extremely upset about the transportation issue her grandaughter is experiencing. She seems to think that we are discriminating against hard working, english speaking, American families. Of course she is way off base in making this sort of an accusation.
Her email is below, and my response is directly below hers.
I would like to know why there is discrimination against my English speaking family! My 11 year old granddaughter is expected to cross Creighton Road and go through neighborhoods with Pedophiles to get to school because she lives less than 2 miles from school. A hispanic family living around the corner ( less than 2 miles from the school) daughter is picked up by bus because her parents do not speak good english and I found out there is a special bus that picks up kids under these circumstances. Creighton is an extremely busy four lane highway and dangerous for an adult to cross and lets not forget about the pedophiles.
I am going to make sure everyone I know which includes a large amount of people in Escambia county know about this and who to not to vote for. I am sick of discrimnation against tax paying hard working Americans and their families!
I, too, am against discrimination against hard-working, english speaking American families! I am also against discrimination toward anyone for any reason. To quote a famous phrase--people should be judged by "the content of their character, not the color of their skin" With this being said, I believe that the family you refer to in your email may possibly be receiving transportation because they are ESOL eligible. This is not discrimination, rather this is the district following the law. I'm still awaiting confirmation of this from the director of transportation, but I would assume this is the case based upon what you've stated in your email.
This issue aside, the school board voted this past Tuesday night to revert to the transportation policies of last school year, due to overwhelming parental outcry, and because we want to be attentive to our constituents. We made this change back knowing full-well it would cost us $500,000.00 in non-reimbursed general fund money in this tight budget year--but we did it anyway. What does this mean? This means that the district provided transportation that your child received last year(walk distances) will be no different this year (less than 1 mile elementary, 1.5 miles Middle, and 2 miles, H.S.) I would strongly suggest that you give your route a couple of weeks to settle in, and most of the idiosyncrsies and kinks will work themselves out. If not, you can always fire an email out to Eric Fritz, director of transportation at: email@example.com ---That's what I did when I received your email.
Finally, I am not up for re-election until November of 2010, I'm not even sure if I'll run again, and I never---NEVER make a decision on a critical issue based upon what someone may or may not like/approve; I'm not on a continuous campaign-mission to be re-elected. Rather, I always try to do the right thing for the right reason--knowing I'll never make all the people happy all of the time. Feel free to contact me any time I can be of assistance.
Escambia County School Board, District 1
I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.