Haley Pearl: Where’s your courage to do what’s right for students?

Northampton High School

Northampton High School GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Published: 06-05-2024 4:39 PM

To our esteemed city councilors, level services funding is necessary to provide our district’s students with the quality education that is their right. As an Northampton public school teacher and parent, I cannot fathom how cuts to our schools make any sense when it’s clear we’ve got the money. This is not a “schools deficit.” This is a choice by our elected officials not to use our city’s funds to educate and support children. Please get this one right. There’s still time.

In a city where there is much clutching of pearls about racial and economic injustice, I’m flabbergasted that our city officials would put public education in jeopardy, thereby reinforcing all of the inequities they so adamantly denounce. What’s even more confounding is that despite a massive public outcry, the majority of our city councilors lack the will to question the mayor and her advisors. For most of you, even respectfully pushing her and the superintendent on their statements and ideas seems beyond your reach.

Would you really rather bow to those who say “it’s not possible” than imagine new solutions? Is this how you see your role — as the mayor’s minions? What is the purpose of this precious prudence I see at meetings? Where is your courage, your spark, even your curiosity? If your tight-lipped deference is in service of political gain or another term, it seems to me the votes will speak if you don’t.

I know my words are strong, and I hope you hear them with an open mind. It’s hard to be an elected representative at times like these, but it’s what you signed up for, and your city needs you now. The kids need you now.

Haley Pearl

English teacher, Northampton High School