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to the Editor
Writer seeks to unite Fox Creek, Strom Thurmond students, parents and
posted January 2, 2009
I am not an “authorized” spokesman for FCHS but I would like to respond
to many suspicious and sarcastic comments posted on your site. To
begin with, FCHS is a school of teens (children), and as such, we
adults should be protecting them - not fostering hostility. Since
it is human nature to attack something you don’t trust, and to mistrust
something you don’t understand, let’s examine our situation to
eliminate suspicions and resentments, if only for our youth.
FCHS does not think we are better than STHS. I am a teacher at my
church and I know and love many students who attend STHS, I also know
and love many students who attend FCHS, which happens to be my school
of choice (more on that below). Like all schools, FCHS encourages
a spirit of pride in oneself and one’s school, not unlike STHS, and
that does not make us adversaries, it makes us responsible
citizens. Although it does promote a sense of rivalry, rivalry
can be a tremendous motivation for progress, a little competition is a
School of choice – it’s a matter of geography really, “. . . .
location, location, location”. Consider the freshman and
sophomores years of my children before they were old enough to drive,
(or beyond those years for the parent who cannot provide a vehicle for
their teen). Then consider all the doctor appointments: general
physician, dentist, orthodontist, allergist, dermatologist, etc.
For me, consider that I work in Georgia, my insurance is Georgia based
and all our approved providers are in Georgia.
So if my kids attended STHS, my travel time there would be 40 minutes,
50 back to a physician, time needed in the physician’s office (wait and
exam), 50 back to STHS and 40 back to work. At the conclusion,
we’ve either lost the school day or work day or both. Even a
teacher conference would pose a major proposition for anyone working
across the river, 40 minutes versus 10 minutes to or from FCHS.
The bottom line is: Residents in this area of the county need a
school in closer proximity, period. We pay the taxes that pay for
our children too so no one needs to feel their money is being taken
from them - this is a cynical notion that I hope is overcome in
2009. Does it take money from STHS? Only for the student
not going to STHS and to that degree, STHS is relieved of any cost
burden for that student so the one offsets the other synergistically,
the two factors work together.
Do we have out of county students at FCHS? Sure but that is not
abnormal – how many out of county students attend North Augusta?
If STHS does not have any, that would be due to their inconvenient
location which is the thrust behind the organization of FCHS, the NEED
for a conveniently located high school. Out of county students
have to pay to attend FCHS, and pay they do. Does EC pay for
I’m sure those households wish they DID but they do not. Are we
unaffected by budget cuts? Anyone who thinks we are not is
ignoring the truth (an unfortunate position driven by an unfortunate
political agenda). I would encourage everyone to attend board
meetings which are open to the public. They should attend those
of STHS, the ECBOE as well as FCHS. Actively seek the facts
rather than propagate innuendo and superstition; the result will bring
peace of mind and a greater sense of unity.
In fact, I wish folks would visit FCHS every legitimate chance they
get, our School Improvement Council meetings are open to the public and
we welcome the community. If you would take the time, you would
understand that we are not the enemy, we are your neighbors, your
constituents, your tax base, your coworkers, in some cases we are your
teachers, and in many cases we are your relatives.
We are a public school striving to provide a challenging and
stimulating environment for our students; our students like your
students are just teens struggling for an identity and to succeed, just
like all other teens. Our courses are accredited just like yours,
our students graduate and many go on to higher education or gratifying
careers, just like yours.
We have successfully met the AYP and other challenges, we are a
Palmetto Gold School (more info at: http://www.foxcreekhs.org/about_fchs.htm).
Merely out of necessity, we are growing a school that accommodates
location and busy schedules. If we are successful, you should be
happy for us; if we are not, you should be sad for us. But in no
event should you be oppositional to us, nor us to you. Rather, we
should be working together for the benefit of our youth and our
The influence this animosity has played in encouraging vandalism for
the child who acts out his or his parent’s aggressions is
shameful. These acts will result in fines and restitution not to
mention possible jail time for the ones responsible, (who I suspect are
not from within as indicated by areas hit or not hit as the case may
be). What impression do you suppose all this is projecting to the
general public? All this negativity, aside from denying our youth
a sense of well being, is counterproductive to county growth. The
affect it has in discouraging future business or new homeownership is a
factor that, while perhaps incalculable, is nevertheless a destructive
reality. We all suffer if this narrow-mindedness continues.
The New Year is an opportunity for us to adopt a new
outlook. I hope it is one of unity and not more distrust or
prejudice. Let’s join forces, there’s strength in numbers and
wisdom in the counsel of many; it is for the sake of our community, our
children and tomorrow’s leaders.
In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in
friendship, but never in want. ~ Traditional Irish toast.
God bless you all in 2009
Proud FCHS Parent
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