Wednesday, September 19, 2012

All Access

I've been kicked out of many schools over the years, and in more ways than one.

I'll leave my student activity out of this and just stick to the "professional" years.   A couple things stick out, and if I gave it more time, I can come up with several examples.

A photographer and I were booted off the sidewalk in front of Coughlin High School in Wilkes-Barre four years ago while attempting to ask kids what they thought of then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton paying a visit to their school.

I was told to leave the Scranton High School parking lot back in the spring of this year for having the audacity to ask students what they thought of the state's no vaccination, no school policy.

Having built upon that foundation, it was amazingly refreshing when no one bothered us at Mid Valley Monday morning.  To get you up to speed, Mid Valley's new school year was delayed two weeks because of a slow moving elementary school addition project, pictured above.

We talked with high schoolers about the late start to the year, and the anticipated late finish.  Administration had to know they were going to take some hits from the kids.  It really wasn't that bad.  The students understood why it took so long to get things ready.

Over at the adjacent elementary school, parents and kids were available.  Administration allowed us inside to see the renovation work.

Why?  Common sense.  Taxpayers, through our camera, could see what their money bought.  Concerned parents, who weren't able to make it to the school, could observe that their kids weren't attending class in the middle of an unsafe construction zone.

Full disclosure:  I'm a Mid Valley graduate.  The new high school opened after I had graduated.  I had my issues with the way things were run when I was a student.  Buildings and facilities were embarrassingly bad.  I had some good teachers, but several lazy and uninspired ones as well.

The bottom line here is the way to keep everyone happy is to open things up and show what's going on-- not to lock the doors and hide from reality.